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Archive for October, 2010

Ten Ten Ten

What I’ll remember about this day:

  • I harvested my first batch of wine grapes that have been growing along the pasture fence.  Unfortunately, I only managed to get the equivalent of a gallon of wine so it looks like grape jelly is next on the canning list.  No one (including the former property owner) seems to know the varietal so I’m hoping the owner of the local winery might be able to identify them.
  • 75 daffodil and narcissus bulbs went into the ground.  Gophers beware!
  • The fishpond got an Autumn cleaning only to discover that the pump was burned out (or so I thought).  Off I went to the hardware store to get a new pump… got back & learned that the tubing was too small so it was back to the hardware store for an adapter.  After much anticipation, I plugged in the new pump and waited for the sound of running water… and waited and waited.  Nothing!  What I learned next was about the most shocking discovery of the day:  the electrical cord from the old pump was connected to an extension cord via a 3-prong adapter that was buried underground.  Just laying in about two inches in dirt under a wet piece of wood!  Isn’t there a law??

 

Uvas Misterioso

 

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Autumnal Return

I’d like to say that it was a long hot summer that kept me away from writing but to do so would not exactly be the truth.  This first summer on the farm was a busy one with a long learning curve.  Projects everywhere… growing fruit and vegetables is one thing but finding time to do something with the harvest is another.  I lost the war with gopher control and realize that living with these rodents will be very much like living with the demonic deer in Twain Harte.

I did manage to resurrect my skills in the art of canning… pickled beets, strawberry preserves, pickled peppers, and tomato sauce.  During the long winter, all of these will be reminders of the glorious feeling of warm sun on my back and the joy of walking into the garden each morning to see what had ripened overnight.  What I’ve learned is that overplanting can be intimidating when one only has a limited amount of time to deal with a prolific crop.  How many eggplants can I eat in a week??  So my fall and winter garden is much more reasonable for a family of one.

As I became comfortable with caring for chickens, I increased their ability to roam and allowed them to truly be free range.  Unfortunately, they quickly learned how to scurry under the pasture gate and my vertical sunflower garden became horizontal overnight.   The demand for farm fresh eggs has increased so much that I brought four more hens into the fold a month ago.  That was an experience!  Each flock kept to itself, refused to blend, and claimed its own area of the henyard.  Literally lots of henpecking going on as they jockeyed for position within the fold but eventually they became one.  Now, when I walk into the pasture, ten hens start their half-run/half-fly/half-waddle toward me and I feel like a nursery school teacher entering a school yard!

Ironically, as the demands of my farm increased this summer so did my business.  I expressed my creative energy in the form of gardening, planning, and summer living; writing took a backseat.  However, now that the shorter days of Autumn are here and the outdoor work begins to decline, I long for the opportunity to write again…  to sit in the quiet bubble where the words just flow like water.

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