Friday, September 2, 2011

Wrapping Up Summer

It is hard to accept that summer is officially over!
Days are going fast and furiously lately and it's hard to keep up with the blogposts. Here's a brief wrap-up of a few of the things going on harvesting the garden.  Look at the size of those tomatoes and peas!!
: )
The Swiss chard is still lovely - and there are lots of beans to be picked.
Bethany blanched and froze trays of beans, then vacuum packed them for the deep freeze.
We also have gorgeous tomatoes just starting to ripen-the tomato deluge is about to begin.
I found a great pasta maker at a thrift store-perhaps somebody's never-unpacked wedding gift - and Bethany has been putting it to good use.
This week she made plain, garlic, and basil fettuccine to sell at the Farmers Market tomorrow.  It may be the first and last time she makes pasta for market--it was extremely time-consuming (but our taste-test pasta supper was delicious!)
We are struggling to get our share of  milk from LaFonda. She is still producing but LindyHop, her calf, has grown so big he drinks it as fast as her udder replenishes.  Now, instead of milking on a regular schedule we milk whenever we need some and a quarter of her udder looks full. Then we distract Lindy with a treat and milk a half gallon or so for our use. Lindy is old enough to be weaned, but I appreciate the flexibility of not having to milk if we decide to go somewhere.
Both calves have grown extremely tame and friendly.  I snapped this tonight as they watched the neighbors' Holsteins across the road file up the hill to be milked. You can really see now how much bigger Lindyhop is than Jitterbug - and he is three weeks younger than her!
Cocoa and Nutmeg are their usual happy selves --even happier now that  it isn't so doggone hot and humid.   Cocoa is famous for helping herself to  freshly-laid eggs as a little between-meal snack, but last week she had an unfortunate egg incident.   I heard a sound like  a firecracker exploding, and then  there was an unbearable stench...she had found an old rotten egg lost somewhere in the barn and it exploded while she was carrying it. Eeewwww!  Maybe that will make our darn egg-sucking dog reconsider next time!
Our neighbor and friend Brigitte has launched French Crepes and Galettes night at the Douglas Saloon & Social Club, just down the road, on Thursdays. It is a small town bar that you would never expect to serve gourmet food, but after getting some rave newspaper reviews, they have been swamped with crepes customers and she asked me to help by hosting last night.  Brigitte and her daughter made crepes to serve 60 in this very tiny kitchen at the bar! By the end of the evening we ran out of crepes and even had to turn a few people away.  It is exciting to have great food, made from local ingredients, served next door.
Yesterday, we got our first load of new hay for the winter - the barn smells so wonderful now! Brendan and Bethany had moved the remaining old hay aside so it can be used up first, and I printed out my blog-friend Katiegirls's hay-stacking strategy as a guide for storing the new hay. It is now stacked extra securely and neatly. We will need several more loads yet to get our cows through the winter.
This week had its share of annoying issues to resolve, including a broken dishwasher (that was just repaired two weeks ago) and a nylon rope that somehow got run over by the mower (by me, I cannot tell a lie) sucked in and bound tightly around the blade. We can't fix the dishwasher electronics ourselves, but handy-dandy Rog was able to repair the lawn mower. It involved dismantling the mower assembly, muscles,  sweat  and grime.   I  am so lucky to  have such a talented and patient spouse.
I'll close with a photo of one of the three handsome toads that lives on our patio and comes out after dark every evening. When I pick them up they make sweet, chirping-purring sounds that make me smile; it reminds me of being a kid, catching toads under the yard light on summer nights. 


gz said...

I could do with help this time of year too!

Lovely toad.

I've got lots of baby toads on the allotment, but not so colourful!

Terri said...

Very impressed with that tomato and the pea pod. Maybe you should have entered them in the State Fair!! LOL! Love catching up via your blog. Good luck with the dishwasher!

The Luddite said...

rounding the bend on the last lap. looks like you are strong going into the last leg! hurray!