Friday, September 16, 2011

Harvest in Full Swing

Did you see the harvest moon?  It was so bright and beautiful, I thought for sure I'd hear some wolves howling at it, but they must be busy elsewhere.

Harvest Moon

I know I've been busy!  First, allergies laid me low for three days again, but thankfully I'm back on my feet.  I thought I'd turn into a lemon from all the lemon tea with honey I drank.  Then there was running to the doctor with Lara for her annual check up.  The nurse practitioner we saw was appalled that Tom and I never had any kind of health care assistance in caring for Lara and Ed.  Suddenly we have seen a home health care intake nurse and had a home physical therapy evaluation to see what kinds of mechanical aids we might be able to utilize at home and what body strengthening exercises we can do with Lara; a nurse has already come out to give Lara a bath for me (to give my back a rest from constantly lifting her); an occupational therapy evaluation is being scheduled to see just what finer motor skills Lara has or may need help with; and, there is the possibility of linking us up with a social worker who would provide us with information about other services we might be able to receive for both Lara and Ed.  And on Monday, Lara and I go to see a dietician to help with setting up a proper dietary program for Lara.  Wow! Am I still on planet Earth?  This all has been difficult for Tom and me.  We have always cared for Lara and Ed ourselves or had close family help us (thanks, Aunt T and Grandma Hon!).  Learning how to accept help from other people is foreign to us, but I realize that we are not getting any younger and taking care of Lara and Ed will not get any easier for us.  So, it is best to admit our limitations and get what intervention we can now before one of us gets injured lifting Lara and care giving turns into an emergency situation.  With the way the economy is there is no telling how long the help will last, but I'll take what we can get for as long as it lasts.  What we learn from working with these professionals can only help us.  I'm grateful for their help.  We paid taxes all our working lives so I guess I shouldn't feel guilty about finally using social services.  Still, it's hard, but I have to admit I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me.  Subconsciously I must have been worried about getting help.  I believe Pluto went direct today.  I surely feel transformed by events!

On other fronts, I started working in the forest garden to get those raised beds built I mentioned in earlier posts.  They don't look like much yet, but you should be able to see the outlines.

I'm going to lay down lots of green matter and cover it with manure and good compost.  As the site slopes slightly, the deep rooted horseradish  and rhubarb will each go into a bed of their own and hold down the soil.  The work is going faster than I thought it would and I should finish it in another day.  Hurray! 

We have a healthy squash harvest this year.

Tom's Garden Squash Harvest
Here are some of my Blue Hubbard and Sunshine squashes.  I'm so happy I finally got some Blue Hubbard to grow.  Some of them are still a little green, but they will keep a couple of weeks and ripen up.  I still have the New England pie pumpkins and a few more Hubbards out in the field that I will have to gather fairly soon now that we had our first hard frost of the season last night.  I don't know what it is about squash, but it's only when I harvest them that I feel like I really have a harvest.

My Red Cloud potatoes sure didn't last long.  Lara and I sold half a bushel the first day at market, then I sold a full bushel to the neighbor down the road, and that leaves barely one more bushel to sell.  When we harvested Tom's potatoes, for some reason he only got two bushels, and those were very small so we won't be taking any of those to market.  He planted Red Pontiacs and Superior varieties.  I think I'll stick with my Red Clouds.

This afternoon we were back in Tom's garden again and harvested another trailer load of corn and squash.  We were going to bundle the collards to sell at the market, but they are so bug chewed I told Tom I couldn't sell them.  But we will eat them.  Bug chewed leaves don't bother us.  I'm going to leave my Golden Bantam corn on the stalk and let it dry.  I'll shock the stalks after they turn brown and shell the corn to use for seed and chicken feed next year.

The kitchen is really full.  From saucers of fermenting tomato and cucumber seeds, kefir brewing, eggs that need to be washed and almost ready crocks of sauerkraut calling out to yum it up with a nice pork loin in a pot, harvest here is in full swing. 

I feel good.

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