Thursday, August 29, 2013

Gigantic Tomates, Hungry Tilapia and a Kooky Cow


I am dealing with  tomatoes, bushels and bushels of tomatoes.  (These are a few of the huge, gorgeous Gold Medal heritage tomatoes, with an ordinary teaspoon for scale.)  Right now I am about halfway through seven half-bushel boxes of tomatoes Cadence left in the kitchen after packing up Wednesday's CSA boxes. So far, I have made a 2-gallon pot of pizza sauce and froze it in quart packages, and roasted many pans of tomatoes, froze them in large yogurt tubs, then vacuum packed them for the deep freeze.

This time of year when the kitchen is piled high with ripe fruits it is a challenge to keep ahead of the fruit flies. My strategy is to process every  tomato that has a crack or blemish immediately and empty the compost bucket every hour or two. So far I am successfully keeping the fruit flies at bay.
We are having a disappointing cucumber crop, thanks to some varmint that is eating them all - but our neighbor Frank is the local Cucumber King.  He offered to let me pick his pickle patch, and I gathered a large shopping bag full. I have been making fermented kosher dill pickles and sweet refrigerator pickles with them. Tomorrow I  want to make some baby dills.
This is our first big apple harvest from the Zestar tree!  It may be the only harvest we ever get because the  tree was pretty badly damaged by rabbits last winter, but you never know...it surprised us with all these scrumptious apples so it seems to have a strong survivor instinct.
The pasture is looking pretty sparse, so today I  moved the fence so the cows could graze the healthy grass growing between the barn and greenhouse.  There were several empty tubs and compost bins stacked alongside the barn. When Rog came home from work tonight he came in laughing because when he drove up  LaFonda had her head inside a big  spherical compost bin and was tossing it around with her horns (in fun, he thought.)

video
When I went out to film the fish, I caught LaFonda playing with the compost bin again.

video
What a nutty cow!
The evening feeding of the fish in the aquaponics system:

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Here is a more peaceful clip with the aeration pump turned off:

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3 comments:

Marcia said...

Those are some big tomatoes.

If you need to make a fruit fly trap, pour some apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a jar, about 1.5 inches worth. Make a paper cone and insert it into the jar. The fruit flies go for the vinegar and get trapped in there. Takes about a week or more but it clears them out.

No calf yet?

Marie said...

thanks for the video clip! a good reminder to slow down and play a bit ....

Tyche's Minder said...

Oh, love the cow clips. The apples look delicious. How old did the tree have to get to produce those?