Thursday, November 15, 2012

Productive Day, Inside and Out

Today was a productive day.

I started out by canning some ginger honey applesauce, got some pumpkin butter going in the slow cooker and roasted some pumpkin seeds. It was nice to spend the morning in the kitchen, but the sun was actually shining so I was anxious to get outside.

I decided to work on our future garden spot, shown above on September 2nd. It's not as green, all of the weeds are brown, but they are nearly as tall as I am. I had every intention of working on it sooner, tilling the ground and prepping it for spring, but time got away from me and other projects took priority.

Before I could get working I had to go out to the shop and collect supplies; weed whacker, rake, wheel barrow, etc. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal but when I stepped into the shop I heard a "Tink, Tink, Tink". "Oh great, a mouse" I thought. I slowly walked around listening to the "Tink, Tink, Tink" as it lead me to the big oil drum stove we have in the back. One of my cats had beaten me to it and was anxious for me to open the door so she could get inside.

By this time I had realized that the noise was much to loud to be a small mouse. A rat perhaps? Maybe a squirrel? That happened once when I was in high school; a squirrel fell down our chimney and left sooty paw prints all over our house. Today I braced myself as I opened the stove door and jumped back just in case. A flicker (the bird pictured in my last post) flew out and up to the ceiling looking for a way out. I rushed over to the "hanger door" and opened it as wide as I could. This bird wasn't very smart, it took it several minutes to head towards the sunlight. When all was said and done I looked out the shop door at the yard to see the dogs, cowering in the distance. They were not at all thrilled by this crazy bird.

Once that was settled I was able to get out and do a few hours of work in the sunshine. Brian picked up some free tarps from a local beehive maker and I'm hoping they will help kill the weeds. They are brown paper on one side and a white tyvek like material on the other. I know that people use either black tarps or newspaper to kill weeds, and I feel like this is somewhere in between. I'm hoping that the brown paper will decompose and the plastic topped with snow this winter will help smother the weeds. I'm not sure if it will work, but it's worth a shot. I know they will let water through, and sunlight when it's not covered in snow- both of which are undesirable for weed killing, so I guess we'll see. I'll be sure to post whether or not it works.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Day to Day Life on the Farm

So..... the to do list didn't really go as planned. Brian went hunting and I just didn't feel like tackling it myself. Brian is now on a work trip and the list has been left nearly untouched.

I've been chipping away at our box of apples, slowly but surely. Lately I've had a couple of batches of jelly that didn't gel, so I read an article on Fixing Canning Mistakes and I'm trying them again.

The other night I made Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Cassoulet and it was really incredible. The leftovers are lasting us quite a while too. I used the whole head of roasted garlic instead of half. You can never have to much garlic, right?

The other day this large bird flew into our window (the sun catchers don't seem to be working). I've seen them around the farm before but they never stop long enough for me to get a picture. Does anyone know what it is? When it flew away it caught Bomber's attention. He kept running around looking for it- is that a good sign of his future bird hunting abilities?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The List

Lately my motivation to get things done hasn't really been high. I'm not sure if it's the dreary weather or the fact that my knitting projects seem much more appealing than chores but I really need to light a fire under my ass and get things done. I feel so much better once things are done, it's just a matter of getting my butt off the couch and doing them.

Brian has 3 days off this weekend and I'm sure he'd appreciate a motivated and productive wife while he's around. The best way I know how to overwhelm myself with the To Dos is by writing them down. That way I can't ignore them. Here is this weekends To Do list. I think I'll need to make a lot of coffee this weekend...

I really need to get going today on some of those things, namely the canning, since I know Brian is going to want to work outside this weekend. I've made 2 batches of apple butter this week but we still have at least 30 pounds of apples that need to be dealt with. My goal is 2 batches of red onion marmalade, 2 batches of Green Apple Pectin Stock for Champagne and Rose/Lavender jellies, apple sauce, and mint jelly.

To the left is how I'm hoping my afternoon will go, although now that it's getting later in the day I'm not sure I'll have the time for applesauce.

The kitchen is all prepped for a Rainy Day Canning Day