Monthly Archives: September 2011

Apples and potatoes

We got a light frost in the grass the night before last, then last night it was enough to kill the squash leaves, but not the tomato that was up higher off the ground. Today we bought about 25 pounds of apples from a local orchard. The orchard has outdoor and greenhouse varieties, all non-pesticided. We got drop apples at $2/lb for applesauce, typically tart outdoor varieties for pie, and a variety of the best apples I have ever eaten from the greenhouse ($3/lb) for fresh eating (pictures of some below – honeycrisp, ambrosia, and gold sentinel are amazing!)

20110926-075320.jpg

20110926-075329.jpg

20110926-075338.jpg

20110926-075404.jpg

20110926-075413.jpg

20110926-075421.jpg

Then we all harvested potatoes from my 18 sqft bed. I started these with badly sprouting holdouts from my winter eating stock. There were red and yellow and blue (I think some Yukon gold, German butterball, red fingerling, and others). We’ve actually been digging and eating potatoes from the bed for over a month. Probably easily 20lbs worth already. I weighed them today and we got another 40lbs even! That’s a very decent yield.

20110926-080032.jpg

In other news, James put the window in my chicken coop to be, and the chickens are doing well. My dad and I completed the stucco on the foundation insulation foam. That’s about it – gotta go make applesauce before bed!

Autumnal abundance and dearth

The leaves are beginning to yellow a bit, and last week the blueberries from out Rabbit Lakes/Peak 2 way were almost over ripe.

20110902-105131.jpg

This is a time of plenty and of lack. We are losing warmth, but the garden, despite another year of sporadic attention, is full of turnips and potatoes and some other less abundant delicacies (gooseberries and fava beans and pears and such)… And chickens and bees. My new part time job leaves me more time and more relaxation, even in the face of much less money. But enough to live simply. I’d much rather have the time and need to make a mashed turnip and greens casserole from the garden than have to go out to eat because it is late and I’m too exhausted to cook. This all local salmon, new potatoes and peas (thanks dad!), and broccoli dish was even better than going out anyway!

20110902-110424.jpg
Unfortunately, I feel I could use even more time. Some plumbing things popped up last month and I had water dripping from my ceiling twice – both times it turned out to be minor (tightening the sink faucet and the shower drain in unit 1), but a bit of time. Also the unit 4 dishwasher pump went out, so I’ve ordered a decent energy star dishwasher from Sears. Could have gotten a used dishwasher from the Restore for much less than the $517, but I’m hoping the less than 3 gallons of water per load will pay off. Currently my yearly water bills are more than gas or electric bills! Not to mention the gas for heating the water.
And the to-do list goes on: put the T1-11 siding up around the south entry, finish off some other exterior siding bits, build the winter chicken coop, harvest honey, harvest veggies and put the yard to sleep, finish tiling the bathroom, paint and trim the living room, a million more projects for energy efficiency and needed upgrades. Basic housecleaning. The usual! I know partly I need to relax and know that things will get done, and no one but the annuals are dying, but it would be nice to get to a point of more conclusive rest. Which is how we northern folk get to actually looking forward to winter every year, despite the brief, fervid summer!