Thursday, October 09, 2008

October Days

Today, Eddy and I decided to forego watching people on television freaking out over the global economy and went to work out in the field. We put up 6 of the angle iron posts Dad gave me (from an old electrical tower he scrounged years ago) that I had drilled holes in for stringing the fence wire through, and added them to the short side of the fence line on the snowmobile trail side of the field. It was very windy as we worked, but it and the chill October air kept the sand gnats off us. I was very proud of myself for getting the new corner post up yesterday all by myself: This Spring out in the front yard I cut down what was left of a nice sized tree that snapped in half during a storm. It had dried out pretty good and wasn't too heavy, so it only took me about 2 hours using a furniture dolly and the kids' wagon to get it out of the woods and into the truck. I dug a 3' deep hole and backed the truck up to it. Then I got up into the truck bed and slid the tree post off the bed and into the hole. I was able to "walk" the pole upright and fortunately the hole was deep enough to hold the post in place while I got off the truck bed and filled in the hole. That was all I decided to do in the field yesterday! (After I did that I took some tomatoes to my two neighbors, Kathy and Carrie, but they weren't home so I wound up leaving the tomatoes by their doors; I hope they got them.) If I can, tomorrow I will go back out and work on putting the wire back up, but I have a lot of canning to do tomorrow and the wire may have to wait a day or so.

I canned 3 quarts of green beans early this morning that I picked off the beans in the garden boxes last night. I need to fill the boxes with more soil so I am going to turn under the peas and beans (I can experiment with winter gardening later). I pulled up all the beets (4 bushels of them) and that's what I'm going to work on tomorrow. A lot of them were pretty limp (it's been cold), and I think the soil was too fertile because I had lots of greens but not many beets. Anyway, I plan to can both greens and whatever beets I get. I don't think I have enough canning jars though and will have to buy some more jars to be sure I have enough for when I can the sauerkraut. I also cut down all the sorrel -- boy, does that grow fast! -- and most of the lettuce. I will make some sorrel soup tomorrow and freeze it. The carrots and scallions are starting to firm up, so the second box is the only box still growing. When I finish the lettuce I will turn that section over and add soil to it. I am hoping to get all the boxes filled with dirt within the next two weeks -- I need to get the garlic, shallots, Egyptian and potato onions planted.

I read in the paper today that November 13 is the deadline for sending Christmas boxes to the soldiers so I have to get my boxes for Sarah done. I am sending her some of the maple syrup I made this Spring, the apple butter I made a couple of days ago and some different jams and preserves. I think I will get a tube container and dig up a little Christmas tree to send her that she can stick in a coffee can and decorate for her barracks. I'll string some dried cranberries and send those for trimming the tree. I'll make some cookies, too. She could hang those on the tree and eat them over the course of the holidays. I know she likes sugar cookies and oatmeal cookies. I have to remember not to put any raisins in anything.

I sure hope I can get caught up with this work because I want to get cracking on the Local Food Atlas. Well, I'm pretty beat so I'll talk to you later.

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