Last night we had thunderstorms again and another 3" of rain. Park Falls had 6" of rain fall and there was another flash flood warning. I can't believe this weather; six straight years of hard drought and now this. Part of the front yard is beginning to look like a pond. It was another long night listening to the NOAA radio. I'm sure that water is standing in the field again. I don't know if the pumpkins will take all this water without sustaining damage or even rotting. I still am having a hard time believing that the first tornado in Iron County in 40 years had to land on us.
Yesterday we talked to a forester named Joe Allen about harvesting the damaged trees from the woods. We know we won't get as great a value as we'd like for the wood because it is damaged and the economy is in a Depression, but we care more for the health of the forest than we do the money. This is, after all, a Century Farm. Our family's history in America, its blood, sweat and tears are part of this land, and it is our gold -- refined as it is by the trials of Saturn. As the saying goes, "Saturn is a hard taskmaster, but he gives rings of purest gold to reward perseverence." Money cannot buy it from us. Joe is the procurement forester for Miljevich Corporation, a logging outfit out of Wakefield, MI. Joe was very down to earth -- our kind of guy. We knew that he knew that we knew we don't have a lot of "beaver chow" in our woods (even though we do have a beaver down on the creek). And we knew that he knew what he was doing. We liked the simple contract; the terms and manner of pricing were fair; and the timeline for the job completion is actually much sooner than I expected it to be. The snowmobile trail should be cleared of downed wood before the season opens on December 1st. Hopefully the DNR will repair the bridge over the creek so that it is safe to cross. Miljevich takes care of all permits and notifications, and we were especially happy that they will take the tree tops. We know that tree tops represent 1/3 of a tree's value and it makes us sick to see landowners who hire loggers that take the trees and leave the tops to rot on the forest floor. Loggers who don't take tree tops (1) are only looking for the quick money on the logs; (2) don't have a connection to a market for the tops; or (3) don't have access to the equipment to remove or process the tops. People need to do their research before hiring a logger. In our case since we are of old Eastern European stock and mindset, having a name like Miljevich certainly helped the transaction. Anyway, Joe says he will send his experienced Michigan crew to do the harvest (they are used to dealing with "Michigan Environmentalists" LOL), so we will see what kind of job Miljevich does. If we like their work, we'll do more business.
By the way, here's a good place to start your research if you are thinking about having a timber sale.: http://www.fwe.wisc.edu/extension/.
I spent last Friday weeding in the garden and, lo and behold, I was able to harvest a whole bushel of nice (but big) yellow warted crookneck squash. If we hadn't had to meet with the forester on Saturday, I think I'd have had enough produce to take to the farmers market.
They practically showed up overnight! I even was able to harvest two black zucchini and a couple of Early Fortune pickling cucumbers from my remaining deer chewed cucumber plants. The darned deer must have developed an immunity to Liquid Fence because the beans are all chewed down even worse than before. For some reason though, the Windsor Fava bean plants have been left alone. (Now that I said that, they will be gone when I next get out to the field!) Soooo, I spent Saturday and Sunday canning up green beans from Tom's garden and lots of yellow crookneck squash. The latest canning books prefer that you freeze summer squash, but I have found that if you wash the squash, remove the seeds, and cut the squash in small pieces before raw packing it tightly into your warmed canning jars and then filling them with hot water, the finished product looks great. (I process quarts for 40 minutes at 10psi in the pressure canner.)
I prefer canning over freezing anyway because the power goes out so much up here.
Special Olympics was fun this past Thursday. Now, this week I have to take Lara for a doctor appointment on Wednesday down to Marshfield and Tom will have to handle the Schwan's man. I've been invited to a cousin's baby shower down in Tomah, and I have to get another cousin a wedding gift. It's a busy month!