Wednesday, August 02, 2006

August Already

Where is the summer going? Between hauling water out to the field at first light because of the drought and helping my Dad make firewood in the afternoon, I am beat! When we had the 102 temperature on July 31st I was afraid for Lara and Ed as we don't have air conditioning, but early in the morning while it was still cool, Tom and I turned off the whole house fan and closed the house up. We turned on room fans and the dehumidifier, and I closed all the curtains to shut out the sun. We stayed inside and just lay around all day. The hottest it got in the house was 87 and I was able to keep Lara and Ed comfortable. I am sure glad we only had one day of that blistering temp. And then, the storms came and we lost power altogether. The power went out Friday night and didn't come back on till Sunday night. I lost everything in the frig and all the 12 dozen eggs in the egg frig. If I had been thinking better, I could have hardboiled them and made pickled eggs, but I didn't think of it till after the eggs were lost. Items in the basement freezer were starting to soften up and I was getting ready to start canning the meat when the power was restored. Whew! Thank goodness Lara had her emergency dynamo radio to listen to or life would really have been difficult. And with all that I was just happy it was raining and I didn't have to go out to haul water. I heard there was a tornado touch down in Butternut that caused the power outage. I am sure the newspaper will have the story this week. I wonder how Butternut Pioneer Days went.

I was lucky enough to make it to my first Farmers Market two weeks ago in Phillips. All I had was some Bull's Blood Beets and Amish Snap Peas -- not the best quality, but still edible (and I won't sell what I won't eat myself). I figured I had enough items to make the trip worth the gas. I also had some craft items I made. It was a lot of work, but I learned alot and got to meet some really nice people. I was very nervous and even made mistakes making change, but people were pretty friendly and understanding. Their attitude sure helped me calm down. I sold most of the beets and just about all the peas, and I even sold one crocheted jar bonnet. Everyone loved my display. And I noted that I made one sale because I sold heirloom varieties; I made another sale because I had recipes to go with the produce; and I made another sale because I am WIC and FMNP program authorized. The other vendors were very friendly -- I was really envious of their beautiful produce. I sure wish I had a well out in my field! Well, everything will come in time; one day I will have my well. The squash is starting to come in now that we've had a good rain and the wheat should be ready soon. My poor oats are shot. If it is nice tomorrow morning, I'll go out and check for more squash and see if I can start cutting wheat. I planted hard red spring wheat, variety Polk, seed purchased from Johnny's Seed in Maine. I am very pleased with how the wheat grew even with the horrid summer we've had. I will sell some of the wheat in unthreshed bundles. If I can sell just three bundles, that will make the trip to Phillips worth the gas. I hope to thresh enough wheat from the stand I planted to last the chickens for the winter. We'll see how it goes. The wheat will make very nice harvest decorations. I think I will get out my wheat weaving book and see if I can make something before market day to give people some crafting ideas.

Tomorrow Lara and I plan to go to the Price Direct meeting at the Ag extension office. Lara is looking forward to going. There is supposed to be a guest speaker. It has been some time since Lara was out of the house and I am sure she is feeling cooped up. I need to make a beauty parlor appointment with Julie for the two of us to get our hair cut, too. Some times I feel so overwhelmed with everything I want to do and just can't seem to get done as fast as I'd like.

As far as the garden goes, I dug up all the beans that managed to sprout and transplanted them into the main veggie section. I then planted the short season sweet corn, Scarlet Runner Beans, okra and basil that I had started in flats the end of June. I consolidated the cucumbers and squash. Everything looks like it is growing well, especially with the rain we've had. It looks like a different garden! I am very happy with the pumpkin patch and can't wait to get some pumpkins. Tomorrow I will plant some fall St. Valery carrots, more Bull's Blood beets and just regular peas (I'm out of any more heirloom seed for this year). The Yellow Finn and German Butterball potatoes should be ready in about two weeks. And next week it is supposed to be cooler so I hope to finally get the high tunnel finished. When that is up I will plant some Forellynschluss and mesclun lettuce under it.

After that it's finishing up with cutting the grass and digging up the dead orchard trees. Since it looks like I will have to move the fence because of the eminent domain action, I think I will move what is left of the orchard to the South end of the field. I am still thinking on this as to where I can put what. In any event, I plan to dig holes this fall for new trees to be planted next spring. Maybe I will line the South end fence border with elderberries. At least it will look pretty in the Spring! I will certainly hate to move the cherry trees though as I am not sure they will make the transplant, and I am very proud of my hardy little Fameuse apple tree, but that will need to be moved as well. I sure hope I don't have to move that asparagus bed. Getting that bed established was a lot of work and having to move it will mean a loss of two years work. Well, we'll see how things go.

I see that it's getting late so I will leave off for now. Talk to to you soon!