1. Chickens initial orientation complete: Our new Americaunas got to enjoy full freedom for the first time since arriving earlier in the week. Feeling that we’ve done all we can, in the short term, to protect them, we let them out for the full day on Saturday morning. Mama, whose name is Esme, called her chicks in to roost just before 7pm.
2. Visit to the farmers’ market: came home with great bunches of carrots (my garden is done producing these for the year), beets, radishes and flowers for the table (a very rare treat).
3. Infrastructure planning: we did a walk in light rain with our builder to look at how we will close in the area underneath our screened in porch to make an extra storage area. We’re working ourselves up to the construction of a barn, but realize that making the most of what we already have is an awfully good starting point.
4. Greenhouse cleardown complete: we harvested enough green tomatoes to easily make a quadruple batch of our favourite green tomato and apple chutney. Now I just have to make it! I’ve been collecting baskets from farmers’ market and roadside stand purchases, and now have a nice stock of them when we’re doing our own harvesting. Five of them were used for this weekend’s green tomatoes.
1. Super start to the day: Most of the males in my family (excepting the dog and youngest son) slept late, allowing me to feel productive and on top of the day…
– fed and watered the chickens, letting them out into their run
– took the dog for a walk
– cooked and refrigerated beets from the farmer’s market for this week’s lunches
– made a batch of cornbread muffins
– baked one of the Fordhook Acorn squash harvested from our garden recently, figuring I’d decide what to do with it later in the day (it replaced the usual pumpkin in a cake)
– hand drawn sketch completed for our builder of the kitchen bookshelves/storage/additional counter space/desk area that we’re finally ready to have built, nearly two years after moving into our new house
– general kitchen clean-up (does it ever end?)
– emergency nose re-attachment for a much loved stuffed wolf who found himself in the dog’s mouth; I don’t have a good after shot, but did catch the wolf, above, leaning his just-glued nose against a tomato basket; supporting stitches were also required
2. Winter heating: we continue our work in transferring wood from the pile in our driveway to stacks in the garage…
…Reggie is convinced the pile appeared for his sole benefit, and he proceeds to protect it at all costs. I still can’t believe that we bought this puppy any toys when all he needed was some wood.
3. Getting the harvest in: dug the remaining bed of potatoes and prepped beds for fall planting inside and outside of the greenhouse
4. Experimental winter gardening: we planted five crops for overwintering in two outdoor beds (carrots, onions, lettuce, turnips and spinach), and completely planted the greenhouse’s raised beds. There is still a huge and gloriously happy kale plant in one corner, so it stays put, and a couple of cabbages doing their thing (I live in hope), but all other beds were empty and ready to go. We’ll be trying out Eliot Coleman’s method of an additional layer of row cover for a variety of winter crops, including spinach, beets, turnips, lettuces, Asian greens, carrots. As with many things, we’ve gone loosey-goosey with the dates and planted a bunch of things at once, rather than figuring out and adhering to crop specific fall/winter planting dates, but it’s in the spirit of just getting a feel for what will work here before we put in more intensive effort. I like the ‘let’s try it and see approach’, because doing something just once gives me a lot of confidence and then I find that I can run with things. So, we’ll see where this little experiment takes us.
5. Back-to-school baking: I like to bake on Sundays so that I have some easy things for the boys to put in their lunches. That baked squash made it into my take on a pumpkin cake recipe: the resulting cake was lovely and moist and so full of flavour, and was declared my ‘best pumpkin cake’ by both boys!
I love a productive weekend; it really helps to make up for the ground I feel slipping from under me during the week.