Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer's end

Well I sure haven't been putting much up here, since the advent of Facebook in my life. Shame on me, many people shun these social networking sites-and with pretty good reason. I have been very careful with interactions there for the most part, but I am finding it rather boring lately. I persist with Farmville (nope, no reason why, other than I want to finish what I started, haha) and to see what is going on with friends and family. I don't accept every friend request, or feel any desire to go out and get them, either. I'm pretty content with my own company anyway, and real life is much more rewarding.

As I watch the birch trees turn color (sans frost) every day, I am reminded that cycles of life are their own reward. The leaves changing means bare branches, which will lead to winters' wind, snow and cold. Which will give way to pussy willows and chickadees in the spring, along with breakup's challenges. And then the green arrives and we start all over again. There is something to be said for living where there are distinct seasons.

The vegetable gardening has been, frankly, crappy. Here we are at the end of August and I am just now getting green beans. End of August! I've quit watering in the greenhouse and have begun stripping what remains. So there are some mature ears of corn, ripening tomatoes, and a few cucumbers hanging on and that's it. I have three immature pumpkins still growing, which is amazing when I think about it. And of course I have plenty of large cabbages, dill, and the green beans to go. Once the garden is stripped, I will let the chickens loose-they'll get a few weeks to clean up whatever remains and I'll lock them back up for the winter when we get the first snows.

No local hay yet this year....the rain has caused either delayed harvest, or crops lost entirely. I am pretty sure this is going to be a very tight hay year, for all of us. I am still hopeful my favorite farmer will get up some dry hay-even if its not that great, my horse loves the stuff. So, no panic on my part as yet. Just hoping for a longish streak of dry weather sometime in the next couple of weeks.

On the horse front, there are big changes for us. Reba is now with a very talented teenager, for however long they chose. It seems to have turned into a really good match, although Reba-Roo has presented some serious challenges. During this, I discovered that I have been mislead about her "training". Ouch. Oh well, stuff happens and there will always be lessons to learn.

Now that fishing is wrapping up, hunting has commenced. Thus, I have barely seen my husband as he is off chasing the elusive legal bull moose. Personally, I'd be happy with a spike fork, but whichever-I am hopeful we'll have some tasty moose in the freezer this winter. So I'll forgive him if the salmon has not been smoked and processed yet, and the big pile of firewood still needs splitting.....getting a moose is priority one for the household this year :)

But that doesn't mean I have not been busy putting up a few things myself. In addition to all the berries I processed earlier this month, I have been picking our raspberry patch every couple of days. So far, I have four or five gallons in the freezer, with easily another gallon yet to ripen. Hopefully this coming weekend I will steal a few hours and go harvest a whole bunch of high bush cranberries. Have to have six pounds for each batch of cranberry ketchup and you'd think it's made of manna the way people want it, lol

I've also made four batches of zucchini relish-two of those will be on the spicy side with the addition of jalapeno and ancho peppers-yummy! I've got cauliflower and some broccoli also safely put up, but a moose got every brussel sprout plant-bless their little hearts. We'll miss having those gems to enjoy over the winter.

So this leads us on into September. Wow, where did summer GO?