Our busy summer is behind us. Mark has returned to school today and the kids and I are trying to navigate a new routine. I love this time of year. Summers are always so busy and the last few summers for us have been full of hard work and some angst. I am looking forward to settling into a quiet home routine with regular excursions into town for the kids, errands and classes. Our new community has lots of things to do. Contra dances, poetry readings, u-pick farms, knitting dinners at the local yarn store.
Even though the last month has been full of packing boxes, moving them and unpacking, I have been able to put some food up for the winter. Mark and I both feel the pull of what this season really means for the kind of life we live, preparing for winter. Mark has been cutting down some dead trees on our property for firewood. I have been putting the canners to work.
Plant: I am still transplanting perennials from the old garden. We have a couple more trips to make there. Transplanted rhubarb, purple cone flower, sorrel, asparagus. Planted fall spinach.
Harvest: There is a local u-pick farm for high bush blueberries. We've picked about 18 pounds so far. We may try for one more bucket before the season is done. Basil, Kale from our little raised bed we planted in June. Potatoes from the old garden. Pears from our own pear trees. There were not many but more than we ever had before;). Apples from our own apple trees. These trees have scab and bug issues but there is still lots of really good apples on them. I am investigating a permaculture practice of planting guilds under the trees. The idea is that all the variety of plants work together to address all the needs of the tree. The plants include bulbs, aliums, food perennials such as rhubarb, and some herbs and flowers.
Preserve: Frozen corn, frozen blueberries, blueberry syrup, blueberry jam, chicken stock, roasted tomatoes, dehydrated onions, dehydrated ontario peaches. We were local when we bought the peaches.
Eat the food: I made a cold pea soup from peas from the farm job. I served it with homemade biscuits, sliced tomatoes from the farmer's market and local cheese. Our stove was hooked up this past week and we have been enjoying many from-scratch meals.
Local foods: Gee ,where to begin?? I bought a share from a farmer at the farmer's market. I have used this to get corn and tomatoes, local eggs and other in season veggies. The local farm where we get our feed sells all varieties of local meat. There was that great blueberry u-pick. Before we had our stove hooked up we were buying bread from a local farmer. Mark and I celebrated 5 years of marriage this past month. We treated ourselves to a nice block of local cheese. This week I am going to explore the local milk options. There is one farm that sells organic milk for 3 dollars a gallon. I want to start making my own mozzarella cheese and get back into making our yogurt again. I am investigating joining a food coop that is supplied by Crown of Maine.
Waste not: We have curbside recycling on our rural road! Our last home we had to collect and deliver it to a regional location. It was something of a hassle. Now it is much easier. Still donating stuff to the thrift store.
Want not: We got the new garden tilled. Mark has been cutting dead trees on the property for firewood. I am busy with Christmas knitting already and hope to get my sewing machine going with a few projects this week. We are enjoying our new library cards and have enjoyed listening to books on tape in the evening while WE ( yes, we, Mark is knitting:) knit.
We are still not hooked up to the internet at home yet. We are at the end of the road and many services have yet to make it to our end of the road yet. There are options we are looking at but internet is not high on the to-do list yet..still need a compost bin. So for now, I am writing at home and posting at the library.
Recipe: Cold Pea Soup
2ilbs of peas
1 quart of chicken stock
another cup or two of peas
Bring to a boil 2lbs of peas and chicken stock. When peas are cooked run through a food mill or food processor. Chill in fridge for several ours. When ready to serve add remaining peas and garnish with chives.