Each day the late afternoon/evening garden gleaning time is getting earlier and earlier.
The fall rains have begun (my definition of scant seems to be different than that of the weather folks, it started raining Friday night and quit this am, that is not scant showers) and I need to now get dry storage type of things sorted, and moved to dry storage. We also need to start moving equipment into the barn for winter. So that means onions on the floor of the barn are a no-no.
At harvest we did an initial sort, for keeping onions you want dry skins and thin, dry necks. Any onions with thick, green necks go in the “use first” pile. If possible I like to let the onions cure so I can check for culls before I commit the final sort to bags for storage. One bad onion won’t spoil the whole bag, but it makes a mess, so we look them over very carefully for any soft spots or oddities.
We sort by size and weigh by variety. Above you see Stuttgarter from sets on the left, and Copra F1 from plants on the right. This year Stuttgarter was the most uniform, with very few small bulbs, whereas Copra was all over the map in size, at least half of the Copras were smallish. Both will easily keep until June.
A farmsteader can do no wrong growing winter squash. It’s hard to believe from a handful of seeds, some good soil prep, a few hours of weeding and a little worrying you can harvest five hundred pounds of food that will keep for a year (at least) without any food preservation work. Just store and eat.
I’ve been growing this particular winter squash, Sweet Meat for at least 30 years now. Ugh, that makes me feel old, but we go way back, me and this squash. I got the seeds from a dear friend at Grange, he lived in town actually and we speculated just how well it would do at my elevation. It took some doing over the years, but with careful selection I now have a consistent landrace that does well no matter what the summer dishes out.
Next on the list?
Lima beans, finally. Slow pokes! I have been waiting for these all summer. This gives a whole new appreciation for my gardening mentor who would announce that she had seventy pints canned and on the shelf…gah. I was lucky to get enough shelled for dinner last night.
Leftover rump roast, some pretty flowers ( bouquet and cauli), a few carrots and peas from the garden along with some internet inspiration and we’ve got dinner. Not sure how green cauliflower mash will look…but I figured the green zinnias would make it look like I planned this instead of grabbing what was handy.
The calves are at ten weeks now, and at the point in milk consumption where I can say heck with bringing milk to the house…I can fill their buckets and call it a night. Fall and winter have a funny way of making me want to spend as little time as possible doing chores in the evening. Lunch time is a different story though, I need them to use up some of the skim milk from the morning’s skimming. So we heat the milk to 100°F or thereabouts and head to the barn. Usually they are on high alert for the sound of the screen door slamming around noon or so.
I’ve only got one bucket with a bracket, so I hold one and we hang one. I like the buckets because they give you more capacity than the half gallon bottles. You need to aim for at least two gallons a day minimum per day for months.