A first! This was an exciting find! What I read said that the hens would start providing us eggs in 6 months and guess what we are 4 days short of 6 months! It’s been a bit of a time investment but hopefully I can soon add eggs to the list of things I don’t buy at the store anymore!
…and a last. This was the last beautiful red ripe tomato of the year, of course it ripened on the window sill but that’s ok, it still counts. It was savored and enjoyed.
All fresh produce thoughts have turned toward pumpkins, squashes and root vegetables for the most part. Although I still have some Kale hanging in there, not even covered. It’s close to the house which gives it some warmth and staying power.
and it makes a nice fall photo with the fall leaves in the background.
These root vegetables were perfect for a cool night when combined with some local grass fed beef, and served with warm homemade bread!
I’ve been focused on getting all the pumpkins processed. All the seeds were removed, with some help from my daughter and the thinner walled pumpkins went to the pigs, while the nice think walled ones went in the oven to be roasted, which looked like this…
and then like this…
I ended up with about 16 cups of pumpkin puree and lots of toasted pumpkin seeds. I love the smell of the house when pumpkin seeds are toasting!
I’ve tried a few new recipes recently. A new recipe for the no-knead bread, which is very similar except you don’t flip the bread off a towel awkwardly into a 450 degree pot. In this case you rest the bread on parchment instead of a towel and you skip the awkward messy stick to the towel flip and just set it in the very hot pot, parchment and all. The result is below.
This is a lot more reliable then the “flip” that sometimes works and sometimes just makes a mess of the oven and my towel! I actually forgot to put whole wheat flour in with the white. It tasted very good but didn’t stand up to being sliced as well as the without the whole wheat.
The other thing I tried as far as recipes go, was a recipe for Empanadas, ok they were actually called Bolivian Meat Pies, but seemed much the same to me. They were great!
and very pretty too!
Other things on the farm besides cooking that are going on? The pigs go to market in about a week. I still have a lot to learn about the cuts of meat. When I met with the butcher he explained how, “if you want chops then there isn’t a tenderloin, and if you want this, then there isn’t a that, and this can be fresh or cured and, and, and…” I walked out far more confused then when I walked in, so I have been reading about cuts of pork and these trade offs, trying to make sense of it. I have also been reading about cuts that often don’t get processed or don’t get given back to you, and am trying to make myself aware of what these cuts are and also make myself aware of how they would be cooked and used.
The cold frames are doing well growing lettuces, which we should be eating soon. The rest of the garden though is ready for a new layer of kill mulch… a layer of seedy, crummy compost or bad hay, followed by a layer of heavy wet cardboard, on top of this goes a layer of good seed free compost and the garden will be ready for Spring.
Other things left to do… plant the garlic, deal with the raspberry canes, clean up the kitchen garden, and bundle kindling for fail proof fire building! Hubby insulated the nesting boxes for “the 5 girls” to keep them warmer this winter. We may have to up the wattage of the light bulb in the coop to keep them warm enough this winter and to keep their water from freezing in the coop. The viney gardens could use a kill mulch layer as well.
With the garden quieting down now and half of our chickens in the freezer, and the pigs gone next week, things will be a bit less busy around here farm-wise. This will give me more time to focus on my Granola business, which is perfect timing because the Winter Gift Giving Season is amping up and this makes for a busy Granola time of year. I will be sampling at a large, high end grocery store on Saturday along with about 120 local food producers (spread out over fri-sun). This will be great for sales, but it is also more importantly an opportunity to get my granola into the hands and mouths of people who have not tried it yet. Yesterday I came close to closing a deal with a cafe owner in town who has 3 very popular cafes, often voted “best of” by a yearly poll. He will let me know next week, but he chowed my granola throughout our meeting so I am thinking he liked it a lot! This would be an order of about 150 pounds a month, which would be awesome! Currently I am working to expand into 5 co-op locations and a grocery market that has 5 locations in our area. 2014 may be very busy, if I am lucky!!