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List Getting Smaller, and Fall Colors

October 16, 2013

We’ve been battening down the hatches and I can really say I see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as crops that need something “done to them.  Pretty soon it will just be harvesting on a small basis – root crops or coles as needed.

Still on the list:

♥  Greenhouse cover removed for winter – this means I have to pick the last of the tomatoes, move the strawberries, and generally put anything that needs to be dry somewhere else.  The sheep will go in and do clean up of pepper and tomato plants and then I can remove the tomato clips, tie up the twine and that is it for the year in that greenhouse.

♥  Sauerkraut – nuff said.  I’m only making 5 gallons this year, 13 last year was too much.

♥  Kiwi something…kiwi jam is killer and so is the juice.

♥  Plant garlic – waiting for the soil to dry enough for tractor work.

♥  Dig dahlias – this means I first have to mark the plants, once I cut the tops to allow for the bulbs to cure, I won’t know who is who, and my OCD will rear its ugly head when I plant them out next year.  I bought the tubers unmarked, but I know who they are, so I will mark the bulbs before storage.  Note:  this is last on my list, because flowers are a little behind food here…

Here’s our week in food pictures:

Golden Ghee - the freezers are stuffed

Golden Ghee – the freezers are stuffed

Sweet peppers

Sweet and Anaheim peppers

Padron peppers at the hot stage :)

Padron peppers at the hot stage 🙂

Hardy kiwi

Hardy kiwi

Cilantro for the freezer

Cilantro for the freezer

I see kraut in my future

I see kraut in my future

It doesn’t seem like so much work if I write it down.  Thanks for listening.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. fngrpntr permalink
    October 16, 2013 9:23 am

    Where do you move your strawberries to? I’ve never heard of this . . .

    • October 16, 2013 9:26 am

      Anywhere out of sheep reach 😉 We plant everbearings and move them each year just for ease of rotation and weeding etc., they’re pretty tough, but they can’t stand being grazed off at the nubbins.

  2. October 16, 2013 9:33 am

    They must be different from “regular” kiwis, surely, since around here, kiwi won’t be ready till Christmas at the very earliest – and they’re not fuzzy!

    • October 16, 2013 3:56 pm

      SSF, gosh ours would be frozen by then, if the coyotes or dogs don’t get to them first. It’s this one:

      I’m calling her Liberated Anna though, she’s a widow and still seems to finding ways to fruit 😉

      • October 16, 2013 6:28 pm

        Haha – actually that’s interesting about her ability to keep producing without a male plant. I wonder why? The kiwifruit grown locally is probably the Saanichton cultivar (in fuzzy kiwi in the link you gave me) – since that’s where I live. I have never seen a non-fuzzy kiwifruit here, it looks like Anna would do well here too.

        • October 16, 2013 7:39 pm

          SSF, I think it would do great too, and it’s a pretty reliable bearer, unless you keep moving it >:P They are about grape size and are usually covered. The jam is amazing with pineapple juice, and I am not a jam eater at all, but that on yogurt is delicious!

          One time a long time ago the Oregon Tilth inspector that came to the farm for the yearly inspection was a kiwi enthusiast, and she told us that Anna was thought to be self fertile by some folks. We ended up selling her some steers and when we delivered them we got the tour of her kiwis, amazing! She had probably 10 different varieties. ,We had a male but he never bloomed at the same time, and we purchased it with two females, I scorched one female (you know, redneck penchant for burn piles) and the male has finally succumbed, maybe he liked the other Anna better. Anyway this gal has way more fruit than we ever need every year and they aren’t really bothered by anything. I would still buy a male though, if I was starting out, just to make sure, we’ve had these a long time, and drove to One Green World to pick them up, the male may have been tagged in error. Hardy Kiwi is a little better behaved than the fuzzy, and should be an ornamental permaculture plant I believe. Beautiful vine, shade, fragrant blossoms, and great eat-out-of-hand fruit. I love them!

  3. Susan Klein permalink
    October 16, 2013 10:01 am

    What is the name of the sweet pepper you have pictured? After reading the post you had on it a while back I decided I want to plant it next year, but now I can’t remember the name!

    • October 16, 2013 3:53 pm

      Susan, the red one is Red Ruffled Pimiento, and the yellow one is Flavorburst. Both deliciously sweet and thick walled.

  4. October 16, 2013 10:06 am

    hmmm freezing cilantro? Whats your method and have you tried that with basil not in pesto form?

    • October 16, 2013 3:52 pm

      Emily, it’s kind of pesto like without the cheese and nuts. Food processor on slow and just enough EVOO to coat and then I freeze in the those insanely cute, but pretty useless 4 ounce canning jars, and freeze. I do the same with basil, dill, parsley and anything else that I want in somewhat of a fresh tasting form compared to dry. I save my used canning lids and rings too weird for canning just for freezing things in jars. Works great, and keeps forever in glass. I get a little nervous storing things with fats/oils in plastic so the jam jars I never use get all kinds of interesting things put in them.

      • October 18, 2013 6:51 pm

        Ditto on the used lids and not wanting fats in plastic lol. I haven’t tried freezing herbs in oil but everyone says it works great, now I guess I have to try it!

  5. October 16, 2013 11:08 am

    13 gallons of kraut…wow. Yeah. Maybe 5 gallons is enough.

    • October 16, 2013 3:42 pm

      HFS, yes, considering I don’t really eat it that much, let’s just call it a labor of love. I bartered a lot of that kraut.

  6. Jackie permalink
    October 16, 2013 11:16 am

    I know this is off subject, but I have to ask – how many pounds of potatoes did you dig this year? I’ve been waiting (impatiently) for your total. I had a good crop this year, more than usual, despite partial clay soil & still have 12 more Russets plants to dig up. But I’m at the point where I don’t even want to see another potato. 61 pounds from 5 lbs. of Yukon Gold & 146 lbs. from 10 lbs. of russets (so far). It’s been raining & too wet to dig up those last 12 plants.

    Gave my Padron peppers away (pulled out the whole plant last week) because they were too hot for me. The guy I gave them to said they were not hot but were sweet, & most of them were red. I grow them every year & pick them when they’re mild – 1 or 2 inches long, fry them & add salt. When they get much bigger, they get hot. He stuffed them with sausage & froze them. I have a feeling that when he pulls them out later & tries them, they may be hot. What do you think?

    Just discovered your blog this summer & I absolutely love it! You offer a lot of info & tips that help even the smallest gardener. Thank you.

    I live in Ohio, zone 5.

  7. October 16, 2013 12:05 pm

    Wow, all that food looks amazing. You have been busy:)

  8. Jackie permalink
    October 16, 2013 12:08 pm

    That ghee looks delicious. I’ve only made it from grocery store unsalted butter, a half a pound at a time, not much, I know – not enough to freeze. Only used it for pouring over homegrown popcorn. Talk about heaven…. When I make it, it’s always messy. So, you must share your technique. How do you make your ghee?

    • October 16, 2013 3:37 pm

      Jackie, yes messy! Butter is easier to clean up. This is actually the first time I have ever made it, but I can’t fit any more butter in the freezer so I needed a shelf stable storage method for the butter and ghee fits the bill. I called a friend who makes it because they don’t like to work their butter, and I consulted Susy’s blog post for a visual. Although I didn’t follow each bit of advice or method exactly, I used the crock pot instead and it turned out beautifully. I had four pounds to work up and I didn’t want to watch the stove, I was pretty sure the crock pot wouldn’t get too hot, and so far so good. A forum I read had folks ranging from cooking it twenty minutes to hours. So I figured I had a lot of leeway. Here is Susy’s post:

  9. October 17, 2013 5:16 am

    I really need to write a list too. Your kiwi looks interesting, not like the kiwifruit we grow in NZ at all. That Ghee does look interesting. Four and a half months to go for daisy, then if all goes well i will be making butter again. I know what you mean about full freezers. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling!.. Is your pork back? tasty? c

    • October 17, 2013 5:30 am

      C., in some places here you can grow the fuzzy kiwi, but the plant can’t take the cold, these hardy kiwis can take -25F. It doesn’t get cold here, and they do fine, and it’s nice to have a different fruit that’s pretty foolproof and not fussy.

      I haven’t picked up my pork yet, and I can’t wait, so I’m saving a little room in the freezer for that 🙂

      • October 17, 2013 6:15 am

        I had to buy a new freezer! And we have one more batch of porkers to go in! OOPS! Anyway, next year may be a lean year you never know. Interesting about the kiwifruit, I shall look into that, we go below freezing and stay there for weeks at a time in the winter.. these might be able to stand it.. excellent. At home many orchardists grow them on huge trellises. So you walk underneath the hanging fruit to pick them. (often on stilts) .. I might try something like this. Though my naughty peahens LOVE trellises. !.. c

        • Chris permalink
          October 17, 2013 7:25 am

          Gorgeous photos today! What do you mean curing your dahlia tops? I’ve never heard of that before. Do yours rot if you leave them in ground?

        • October 17, 2013 7:49 am

          Chris, good catch, I went back and corrected that sentence. I meant I cut the tops so the tubers will harden off a bit and then I can dig, clean and pack those away for winter. What I know about dahlias in my location is that the ones you like the least will survive the winter in the ground, the favorite ones freeze out 😦 But I have to lift them anyway, since I will rotate them into a different spot next year. Me and dahlias – bad combination – I can’t have just one. DALPC – dahlias are like potato chips borrowed for the cow forum, CALPC, cows are like potato chips.)

  10. Chris permalink
    October 17, 2013 11:44 am

    Oh ha! Yes, I know what you mean about the can’t have too many dahlia’s syndrome! Arn’t the black dahlias something else? 🙂

  11. October 27, 2013 2:39 pm

    How do you trellis your kiwi? Fedco sells them and I know a few people who grow them in Maine, but I haven’t figured out where or how to trellis them yet, so I am looking for ideas. I am very intrigued by the pineapple kiwi jam…. but they are pretty good plain, too.

    • October 27, 2013 3:54 pm

      Ali, I need to replace our trellis, and I’ve been terrible about pruning since we weren’t sure if we were going to move them again, or leave them or what. I’m happy to report that they do fine with no pruning, and don’t really get out of hand like the fuzzy kiwis which I have seen practically pull the trellis out of the ground. I think once we decide to actually move them or let them stay we’ll go with the T post type like a clothesline post with heavy gauge smooth wire. The jam is delicious, but I ran out of time and just juiced them this year. That’s pretty good too and the lazy way out, but we rarely eat jam and that juice is pretty good in the dead of winter.

      Here’s a good discussion from a forum in our area with lots of good links.

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