Stocking up for winter
Theoretically, I should’ve canned and put up the veggies as I harvested this year. It didn’t come close to happening that way. The best I could do was to put tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables in bags, and chuck them in the freezer for me to process later. One of the issues was the heat this summer. I don’t mind so much, but the rest of my family doesn’t like it when it’s pushing 90 degrees in here. So, now I’m catching up. I cut, blanched and froze 20 lbs. of carrots that I bought at the Farmer’s’ Market. This weekend I hope to make raspberry jam, maybe apple jelly and can tomato sauce. I seriously need to process the tomatoes because they’re taking an entire shelf in the freezer. I picked up the half of a hog we ordered, and managed to squeeze that into the freezer, but I don’t think I’ll be able to do the same with the quarter of beef that’s arriving in a few weeks. It’s time to make room.
This month I have a number of articles in magazines on the news stand. In Horticulture my piece on yellow flowers, my favorite, just arrived in the mail. It’s fittingly titled “Yellow Fever,” and I had a blast writing it. I actually added a new obsession. When I went to a local nursery a bright, bright yellow flower called Dyer’s Broom (Genista lydia) grabbed my attention. Oh, I had to have it. It’s lovely. I can’t see how I didn’t have it before.
The article on how to build a heated cold frame is in the current issue of Hobby Farm Home. My husband built it for me over a year ago, and I can grow greens and herbs throughout the winter. It’s really nice to pop outside during the winter and harvest rosemary. I’ve currently been working on an article on rocket mass heaters. These are incredible wood burners that utilize thermal mass instead of directly heating the air. Oh, how I want one. I interviewed Roxanne at White Deer Ranch in Fishtail, Montana, and they have incredible pictures of their construction of one this fall. I’m also working on a piece on building a redneck geotherm unit (can’t wait to dive into this one), drying seeds and adding small animals to your place. There’s undoubtedly a lot of variety to keep me out of mischief.