Monday, August 24, 2009

Too Early for the Great Pumpkin

A couple of months ago I went out to the volunteer squash patch (that grew from the old compost pile) to find several small green globes running amok. A few days later the green globes had become orange globes, therefore certifying their identity as pumpkins. Pumpkins? In August? What's up with that? Apparently some seeds know no calendar. It has been fun plucking the squash from their little nest, but I don't know what to do with them now. I want pumpkin in October and November, maybe September, but certainly not August when summer is still in the front of my mind and stomach. I want fresh tomatoes and lettuce, cucumbers and peppers. Yet here they are, the winter squash brigade, clogging up the garden space. Ah well, I guess I'll have to find a way to use the bounty, if not now, then put up in jars for later. We've found the butternut squash to be really tasty as a stir fry up with onions, and they melt in your mouth in a soup. I suppose it is a blessing no matter the season.

The chickens are doing very well. The Wyandottes are moved every few days to a different part of the pasture. We got a super light, portable electric fence that most of them agree to pretend is actually stopping them from leaving. A couple have figured out that if they fly up and over the fence it won't shock them. I think it is time to clip their wings. I haven't had to do that in a few years because my flock was small enough to contain, and the bantams can fly even with clipped wings, the little snots. The turkeys can fly like jet airplanes, so we are very careful with them when they are on pasture. They like to fly into the dog run and that would just be a tragedy in the making. I've no idea why the chickens and turkeys find the dogs so interesting. The ducks always keep away from the fence, but our Gang of Five Cochin roosters just love to stand at the fence and mock the dogs. They should be more careful, but since they are roosters I'm not too concerned about them. Eat or be eaten, they'll find a place someday.

We hope to have an open house in September and will invite everyone we can think of to stop by for a bit. More info on that later.

See you on the farm!

Free Fall

Hello August!

I realize it has been awhile since I updated the blog, and for those who are my loyal followers, I apologize. It seems like life just got so crazy a few weeks ago and hasn't slowed up a bit.

I think, too, that I get so caught up in that 'perfect blog entry' that I don't ever have the time to actually do it (of course not, who does?). What I am going to try to do from now on (fingers crossed) is to update more often but with shorter stories. I also get annoyed with blogger and how slow and clunky it is for photo uploading and moving things around, so you 'old timers' on here, drop me some advice to make my posting faster. TiA.

Barry found quite a great little freebie the other day. He told me he had found a tree that had fruit that looked like "a cross between an olive and a cherry". Hmm....when he took me down to the edge of the woods to show me, I pulled down a branch, smiled and said "Muscadines. We've got wild muscadines!" Then I jumped up and down with happiness and ate a few grapes. Yes, ma'am, this is a great little farm, with or without our help.

So tonight Barry dragged the ladder out to the tree (there are four, actually) and tried to get as many grapes as he could. This is a big bowl, and we've left at least two more bowls on the tree because it is just too high up. If that isn't just the saddest thing I've had to write, but yes, we can't reach all the fruit. Well, I guess the birds will feast on us this month.

For all you non-Southerners out there, muscadine grapes are native to the southeast U.S. and taste nothing like table grapes. They have a thick skin and a sweet, juicy, delectable center that is like candy. Scuppernongs are similar but remain green when ripe.

I'm off to look up muscadine jelly recipes. Mmm...

See you soon~