September is a busy month around the homestead. Hubby heads back to work, the back-to school routine is finding its way back into our days, there is a long to-do list, there are heaps of food around and most of our dinners are local and from our own homegrown efforts.
This past weekend I hit up the local farmstand. They are not certified organic but they try to use as few interventions as possible. They always sell in quantities for preserving; which is something I was very aware of the other day while there. As I was inquiring about 40lbs of canner tomatoes, I was aware that there several conversations occurring that centered around recipes for preservation. One woman talked about zucchini relish, another about her pickled cauliflower. One woman's pile of produce grew while she discussed that she had not put up anything yet because she had given up on her garden; but that her Labor day weekend would be spent preserving her purchase of that day. I was gifted dill heads for some dilly beans. Every store in the region has a canning jar display. I know more people are putting food up but I think that food preservation has always been a big part of the culture in these parts.
We are awaiting the final word on the home we hope to rent and we are still awaiting approval from the bank and other agencies for rental of our current home. Financially, it will be a little tight be we should manage to cover all our expenses with enough to still put into savings. But we have done the 2 household thing for a week now and everyone is out of sorts. We need to be together as a family.
In the meantime the work of the season continues. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed with it all. There are 2 dozen ears of corn to process for the freezer, 5 gallons of carrots and 2 more beds to dig up and process, a bag of beets from the farmer's market to pickle. We did not grow a pig this year, so I need to concentrate on some meat for the freezer soon. I go apple picking this week. My hope is to pick 4 pecks. One peck for dehydrating, one for sauce, one for apple pie filling and one for us to eat. I will pick more in October to have for just eating for the rest of the autumn. This year I am going to try making apple cider vinegar from the apple scraps.
Plant: spinach, beets, winter rye
Harvest: carrots, tomatoes ( gotta toss the rest of the blighted plants), zucchini, mint, sage, yarrow, rutabaga, onions, cilantro, early jalapeno peppers, paprika peppers, basil, kale.
Preserve: pickled carrots, diced tomatoes, tomato puree,tomato salsa, dehydrated mint, dehydrated sage, frozen beans, dilly beans, rhubarb frozen.
Local foods: picked up 40lbs tomatoes, 10 pounds of pole beans, 2 dozen ears of corn, dill heads at the local farmstand. A neighbor gave me some kholrabi and rhubarb from her garden.
Manage reserves/prep: restocked sugar and flour, tidied pantry, mowed lawn and mulched the garden...ugh the weeds have taken over...
reduced waste: gave many bags of outgrown clothing to kholrabi neighbor for her grandson. The no money waste plan is working fabulously.
Eat the food: We are eating the last of the roasts from last year's pig. All the veggies we eat are local and from our own garden. Alas we passed our chickens on to a good neighbor. We did not want our free range roosters to get randy with anyone looking at the house and they were eating the seed I had planted in the garden. Their coop was not "show ready" and was dismantled this summer. They had been living in the barn and roaming free. So we will be buying local eggs until we can have birds again. It is strange, they were the first "homesteady" thing we did when we came out here. Now that they are gone, I miss the scavenger hunt for the eggs. It always felt like a gift when I found one in the coop or barn.