Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Rain at Last, and Thoughts of Fall

After three weeks of dry, dry weather, we are finally getting some rain from the leftovers of Tropical Storm Fay. It's too late to save most of the vegetable garden, but pretty much everything was finished anyway.

The only things left in the garden are tomatoes, peppers, beets, some new lettuce that should be eating size next week, the Bloody Butcher corn that will, I hope be used to make corn meal, watermelons, cantaloupes and pumpkins. And herbs, of course. Now that I look at the list, I guess there is still a good bit still growing.

Cidermaking in 2006--goodness, Clayton and Grace have changed since then!

The weather is certainly turning to Fall, and doing it early. Trees are already showing color due to the very dry weather and the heat the past week. Larry dug the potatoes, let them cure and put them in the potato bin in the cellar. We had one big one baked for dinner tonight and it was delicious (we grow Red Pontiacs).

The hogs left for the slaughterhouse on Sunday. I wish I had pictures to share, but unfortunately I let Hannah take photos while I prepared breakfast for the hog wrassling crew. From the noise and later reports, it must have been quite an adventure in the piglot.

The turkeys are now ready to dress out, and that's on the agenda for this weekend. It's been about 15 years since we last raised turkeys so I am hoping I remember how to do it. We have four, and I am considering raising about 25 next year so that we will have our own source of meat and not have to buy so much chicken.

And Derek's apples are ready to make into cider. I expect ours are ready too. We made it two years ago and it was a lot of fun and not much trouble. We were able to purchase a very slightly used cider mill that year, and with this year's crop will probably make enough cider to recoup the cost of the mill if you figure the price of the cider we produce at $4 a gallon. The first year we made 30 gallons, and since we paid only $250 for the cider mill, we only need to make about 35 gallons to recover our investment in the mill. I wish in a way that we still had the pigs, though--they would have loved the plummies left after the pressing.

Another project looming has nothing to do with gardens and harvest, but everything to do with preparing for winter. We purchased the gas line to begin the task of running free gas from our well to the house. This is no small undertaking, and since we know exactly nothing about what we're doing, it's a little scary. We'll be checking with our neighbors to see how they did it before we start, but I still expect this to be a time-consuming and probably stressful undertaking. And in the end, we still don't have any gas appliances! But one step at a time. First the gas, then the appliances.

Larry is lobbying for a gas furnace to head the list. He seems to be dreading getting in wood this year. Well, we are getting older and it's not an easy task. Usually he's onto it early in September, but last year it was October before he started. I don't expect we will be able to purchase and install a furnace this year, however--the funds are just not there at the moment. But I'm looking at them, trying to figure out how all this stuff works. So it may come sooner than I think.

The weekend promises to be busy, with all my sons coming home (I hope) for the holiday, cidermaking, turkeys to dress out, and I know the guys will be doing some serious golfing. Cookouts, a bonfire, and memories will make up the evenings. I'm looking forward to it.


Tracey said...

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! and I hope Otis is feeling better:)

City Mouse said...

Oh, such glorious talk of Fall! It's my favorite season ... and you are helping usher me into it beautifully with all this talk of cider and turkeys.

Love to the hurt pup! Hope he's feeling better.

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