9/3: It was a cool morning. Got a batch of Flaming Fred sauce and a batch of sloppy joe sauce cooked off and ready for the fridge. Picked off another 30 pounds of tomatoes off the Freds and Romans- I really need to do a cleanup day tomorrow and clear off all the tomato plant debris and such.
Those two glorious heads of cauliflower yielded up 8 quarts of florets for pickling. This was after cleaning them up and cutting them up. Last time was about 6 quarts cut up yielded 9 pint and a half jars.. I will have a full day of canning tomorrow, even if I don't touch the peppers yet.
And sigh.. the tomatoes are still dehydrating. Just a few are mushy... but that's all it takes in a dried batch. Have to keep drying overnight again.
A nice soup tonight- corn and chicken chowder. We had gotten those dozen ears a couple weeks ago that I shucked, cut, froze off the kernels and made stock from the cobs.. And hmmm, had a couple chicken boobs in the fridge defrosted.
9/8: been a few days, busy. Got the Flaming Fred sauce canned off, 14 half pints, and sloppy joe sauce, 5 pints. It rained all weekend and into the week, and was way too crappy to set up the outdoor canning kettle, so the cauliflower didn't get canned, or the peppers. We've eaten up one full 4 quart tub of cauliflower in various dishes, and I still have another in the fridge I can maybe pop off a batch with tomorrow if the weather holds good. All the peppers either went into the dehydrator- 3 trays of hot banana chunks, 2 trays of jalapeno slices, 1 tray of fingerling rings- or into the freezer, ended up with about 3 bags of peppers!
Today I picked the 2 Tennesee Sweet Potato Squashes, cleaned up their rack area, and moved all the peppers over to that spot. They really need all the full sun they can soak up right now before the true chilly hits and I have to decide if I should pull them in or let them go. I did get a nice full round of pepper picking done today, so I have a full batch to do another round in the smoker. I also picked what's likely to be the last good big batch of tomatoes- the plants didn't like that chilly spell one whit. I got a batch of nasturtium seeds picked- a scant half pint, but hey, beggers can't be choosers, and I don't really have a lot of nasts growing this year.
With the weather chilling out, now I need to start figuring out what I want to do with all the plants this year that are outside. Time to start thinking about getting a roof back onto the kennel too. I don't happen to have a handy stack of straw bales this year to make up a snug box on the south side of the kitchen, but I might be able to figure something out with perhaps bagged leaves this time to make something snug for the plants I can overwinter outside that way.
Nightvale is getting a slow start, but is starting... The whole village just sort of petered out into nothing this summer- too much other stuff going on to really fuss with stuff that much. A couple weeks ago I started really cleaning and sorting stuff.. Then over the last weekend re-arranged the furniture, looks good and different now. Then with the solarium cleanup came a lot more shuffling and sorting of stuff, lol. And then I had myself a rare day or two of actually feeling creative, and wanting to use my new bench setup, and indulged myself in repainting Oncle Boo's house, doing the jewel detailing done on the carousel, fixing Ms. House Spider and now she's up and walking again, and a couple other minor repair things. Now over the last couple days I've gotten the platforms sort of set up and starting to figure out where the big buildings and setups are going to be.
A bit of interesting news for us.. this week was a busy one of chasing around- we closed on the land contract and the second parcel that landed in our laps. We now have a total of 25 acres, with a pretty full back 20- including a new large pond. It's an ultimate dream expansion we sort of chortled and wished over early on, but figured it would never happen. And also, the neighbors had a property turn up for them that they were able to get- it's got the acreage that they will be removing the dogs and the horses to their new place. So pretty much as soon as the stable is really cleared out, I plan on moving in there with some gardening stuff. That front horse pasture area is chock full of years of horse poo trampled down and pounded in, and the stable has electric and water already. I don't plan on making the mistake I did years ago and plan a huge garden. But I do plan on starting to work that area in for gardening big stuff, like trying out the 3 sisters garden, or sprawling melons. In the spring if the plants survive it, I can start planting in the orchard and berry bushes out back too. I still plan on utilizing and upgrading the gardens out front. But since the lasagna beds are about ready for their permanent plantings, and just a couple more raised beds up the line to the kennel area.. And with it being just the two of us soon, without the need for such large gardening of the food needs.. and with my fondness for container gardening around the kitchen.. And with the chicken coop and run area opening up soon since the dogs will be gone from there soon... the gardening and homesteading around here sure is going to change fairly soon. The front will keep evolving into more permanent and perennial gardens.