Thursday, August 13, 2009

Catch up time

Today was a long hard day in the garden. This weather has been so cool and wet, I have let it sit with little attention. I was always told not to be in the garden when anything is wet, and I still follow that. So......yesterday and today have been big time catch up since the sun finally decided to show itself for 2 days in a row.

The dew hung around late again today, actually till after 10, so I had some other business to take care of. The buff orpington we bought as a chick 4 months ago didn't exactly grow up to be hen, so... off to the freezer with ya buddy. (I mean the happy chicken farm, Holly) He was just as big as the last one I cleaned, (I mean sent off to the happy chicken ranch), so it was a pretty good addition to the freezer. ( I mean addition to the happy chicken ranch where he can frolic in the sun with the other roosters we had) I did this one a little different, skinning rather than plucking, and I gotta say it was a LOT easier. ( I meant I took off his little chicken jacket, Holly)

After he was all finished, I headed for the garden to finish the weeding I started yesterday. Geeeez what a job that turned out to be. I did a bit more weeding in the 2 rows of potatos, and decided to pull a few to put in the house. I found a few good sized ones, then found this giant deformed monster 'tater. That thing weighed 3 pounds! I think if jabba the hut had a rubber ducky, it would look like this:

I pulled the last of the onions and set them out to dry, then re-sowed the last of the ones I had. Even if we just get some decent sized ones by the time cold weather gets here, I'll be happy. Tomorrow I am going to slice some and try them in the solar dehydrator.

I started in the green beans, working on the first double-row. There weren't many on them, so I pulled the plants as I picked beans. I got that row finished, and about halfway through the second row, and had another two 5 gallon buckets full. For now they are in a cool spot in the basement, until Lisa is able to can them tomorrow afternoon. I'll finish the rest of the 2nd row tomorrow, then we'll be pretty much done with beans for ourselves. The rest we'll give to friends or family....or save 'em for 2 weeks till the weddin'. Mmmmmmm green beans and groundhog gravy! hahahahahahahahahaha just kidding.
I got 5 more yellow squash, 6 more green peppers, 5 HUGE heads of broccoli, about 18 little roma tomatos, and 40 ears of sweet corn. Not a bad haul for a day, eh???

Of course, Austin can smell fresh potatos and tomatos a mile away, so here he is making some oh-so-ever subtle hints that he wants a yummy, lol. (remember Lisa's entry about the eyeballs?????)
Rune on the other hand, didn't care for corn silk, but the husk was a surprisingly fun toy.

The thornless blackberries are finally starting to ripen, so I managed to pick a small container full. We'll freeze some till we have enough to make jam......IF Lisa manages to save any. ( dont you dare ever say anything about me and strawberries again! LOL) These things grow HUGE. After 2 years working with them, I really recommend the Doyles berries you see in the back of magazines.
Tomorrow I'll finish weeding, finish picking beans, then anything else I manage to find. There are quite a bit of beets out there, so I'll bring in those red-death dirt tasting things for Lisa to can for herself. Sorry lol to me they taste like dirt. We did plant parsnips, but not a one came up. We've had turnips too, and there are more in the small greens bed that will be ready soon. That area needs another picking, then I'll probably pull whatever is left and re-sow fresh greens for some good fall salads.
I've pulled most of our friends row since he hasn't came back to do anything with it but once since he planted. Let me tell ya, I am totally amazed at the stalk/plant that comes off of a radish. Those things were well over 6 feet tall with little seed pods hanging all over them. I'll dry them in the sun and toss em on the burn pile rather than put them in the compost. I really dont want a few hundred radish seeds out there to spring up next season like the tomato's did this year. Which of course, we didn't pull, so there are around 20 rogue tomato plants mixed in with the potatos and beans. So now whenever they decide to all ripen, we'll have more tomatos than the local produce store. Ah well, we planned on more sauces this year anyway. The cabbages are heading pretty well, so it won't be long till I can start my first try at homemade saurkraut, yay!
Sometimes it still amazes me how much a 45x65 garden can produce. Every year we do a bit more, change a few things, and try something new. We plant more of what we both eat on a regular basis, and less of things that only one of us eats. Lisa has her compost flavored beets, and I have my hot peppers. We can more each year, and this year will definitly be a record setter. As of now, the canned count is:
40 quarts green beans
18 pints bread and butter pickles
10 pints hot peppers
This weekend there will be that much more in beans, more hungarian hot peppers, jalepeno peppers, beets, and dill pickles to can, along with freezing sweet corn and broccoli. (maybe Lisa will sing "choppin' brocc-o-lee" lol) I'll have to keep a good eye on the jar stock, since we'll be using quite a bit this weekend, more over the next few weeks, then even more when we're ready for grape jelly and more applesauce. My mom got us a small boxfull at a yardsale, and she's watching for more. We plan on starting to can more meat products like meatballs, chili, meatloaf, and a few others,so we'll need all the jars we can get. (preferably widemouth but we'll take what we can get) It's going to be a busy, busy year for canning

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Civil War reinactment

Today I took my uncle to the Civil War reinactment at Hale Farm and Village, the same one we went to last year. As I said yesterday, the weather ruined the plans to go yesterday, so we headed out today around 11:30. While the reinacment and all was fun, it was miserable outside. VERY hot and humid. The outdoor temp reading in the car when we left read 104. That is incredibly high for Ohio. Insane my hats stickint to my head hot.
There are always lots of people set up to talk, to show off their collectables, to get people involved in groups and other reinactments, and of course plenty of vendors to visit. We walked around most of it, though we didn't visit the main part of the village and the church we intended to, it was just too hot to walk all of it. Butch got himself a cavalry hat that he wanted, and I got Lisa an old reproduction cookbook. We watched part of a small scurmish near the village and the main battle before leaving. I can imagine those guys in full dress were roasting out there in the field.

This Gatlin gun was built by a gunsmith in southern Ohio. (thats him in the suspenders with his head cut off, lol oops) It's built entirely on the origional plans and fully functional. The first picture is of it at his booth with some other origional rifles, and the second is when they actually fired it. He actually got the one from the old John Wayne movie "Rooster Cogburn" and completely restored it, since anyone that has seen the movie knows it fell off a boat and into a fast running river. The restored rifle was also the one that was in "The Last Samuri". What a great story, and piece of not only American history, but also Hollywood. Apparantly there is only one known origional Gatlin left in working order and it sets in a museum, but I forget where he said it was. This guy restores Civil War era rifles, and also occasionaly sells a few that he manages to get his hand on. Butch wants to give him one to restore and also wants to buy one. looks like one of these days I will be taking him on a ride.......a 3 hour ride to this guys shop.

In between talking to a vendor and going to watch the battle, we were stopped by some ladies to visit their tent. Low and behold, something that wasn't there last year....a brothel! Now of course we didn't get the usual brothel treatment, but we got cold towels on our necks, a cold glass of lemonade, and a back massage. It was fun, relaxing, and the tips go to the reinactors. I *HAD* to get a picture of this, lol. (No idea who the guy is on my left, he was just someone else who sat down for the treatment)
Below I'll just post some random pictures of the small skurmish and main battle. Enjoy!

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