Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Missing Cream -Apple Jelly - Water Bath Fiasco-Finished

I decided to skim the milk and just see what Willow has been withholding from me....I could have filled the pint jar, but left some on the milk for flavor. I figure there is about 12 oz. in here and that is from 192 oz. of milk, making her giving about 6%BF....that rascal. I won't be paying $6 for a quart of cream anymore!

From Harvest 2010

The doctor's appointment didn't take long....he wants me to stay on a reduced steroid for a while---I won't fight him yet; he promised to get me off of them soon.

I made a batch of apple jelly with the juice from cooking the peelings and cores from the 7 quarts of apples I froze.

It was a fly-by-the-seat of your pants method: I measured 4 cups of the juice and added the balance needed of apple cider. I didn't find the unpasteurized local variety I wanted and ended up with Musselman's. It had very little flavor or color! I dumped the 7.25 cups of sugar into the 5.5 cups of juice and had a half packet of MCP pectin I tossed in. Whisked all and brought to a boil and boiled about 10 minutes. I used the cold dish test; decided it was done and canned 7 jars and had some left over. It jelled perfectly and is very good.
From canning

This morning I milked; that went well. Got a little more than previous milking.

Came in and began peeling the apples. Bagged 5 quarts before I remembered I wanted to water bath these! I sent DH out to get the canner to use for the waterbath. Washed quart jars, peeled apples, made light syrup and put two pans on to cook.

First disaster: They boiled over the pans, very frothy stuff and began scorching on the stove. Had to redistribute the apples into larger pans....clean up some mess. Began cooking again.
Filled the canner....wondering if it was deep enough for quarts.
Filled 4 quart jars placed in canner.
Filled two quart jars with leftover syrup/juice to fill canner.

Second disaster: Water bath boiled over the top ; flooded the stove causing burner to go off. Flooded the kitchen floor that I had just mopped on my hands and knees the day before.

Now I had to get a large bath towel; soak up standing water on range; mop floor and then begin all over again.
Had to run out to the milk parlor and get my taller canner; clean it. Remove hot jars of apples from short canner and place into new canner. Pour hot water over all two inches. Bring back to boil. Process 20 minutes.

End result was great; lost no juice from jars.. I suspect they are over processed and may make applesauce pies or chunky applesauce, but they sealed and one bushel is finished.
From canning

While they were processing, I barely covered the peels and cores with water (2 pans)and cooked them for juice for more jelly.
From canning
I cover my water bath canner too. I just loosely place the canner lid over the pot.
Now the mess begins.....straining all the juice. I had almost all pots in use at this point.
I used the steamer part of my electric deep fat fryer with a double layer of cheesecloth to strain the juice.
From canning
I even used the KA bowl for juice.
From canning
From canning
The chickens love the left over pulp!

During this whole process I managed to cook a large pot of pinto beans.
Left to right: juice, juice, juice, and the flat pot is the beans.
From canning

I ended up with 18 cups of apple juice. I will can it tomorrow in quart jars and make jelly at some later date.

I have a bushel of Golden Delicious to do now. No rush on them....I will make sauce from all of them.

Final tally from the l bushel of seconds at $17.00

12 large packages (5 cups each) sliced frozen apples
4 quarts canned apples
1 quart fried for eating
7 1/2 jars (half pints) of jelly
18 cups of juice for later jelly
To really be accurate I should figure the cost of the sugar, 1/2 pkt of MCP, freezer bags and l cup of cider used.....may do that later.
Kitchen is clean and I am tired.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Trip that wasn't - Orchard -

It is very cool this morning, 43°and we are 'testing' the furnace.

Saturday, I thought I wanted to take a day trip down south. We hadn't even got to Lebanon yet and I told DH that it seemed silly to burn all that gas and sit in the truck for 2 or 3 hours............so we visited the nearby Apple orchard instead.
I bought a bushel of Jonathans and one of Golden Delicious. I also bought 5 lbs of Grimes Golden just to make a comparison between them and Golden Delicious. We have been going to the orchard for several years now and he is a very nice man. He suggested that I buy seconds and save a lot of money for what I wanted them for....freezer for pies and the Goldens for canned applesauce. They were just $17 a bushel which I thought was a very fair price. The apples are huge with very few soft places or discolored spots on the skin. I processed 7 quarts and just tossed half of two apples. I hope to finish them today. Jonathans are my favorites for cooking and for pies but they don't last long off the tree.
From Harvest 2010
I fried up a skillet for breakfast too
From Harvest 2010

I cooked the peelings and cores yesterday and will make jelly today. I want to buy a gallon of fresh cider first. I like to add a little for flavor.

I think I will try canning the rest of the apples...we are running out of freezer space rapidly and I know the beef will be ready today. I have never canned apples before but it sounds simple enough.

These are the Cherokee Trail of Tears beans I picked yesterday; these may become my favorite bean,
From Harvest 2010
They are never stringy even when picked in the larger stage like those on top.

This and That

It is a very cool, breezy morning here with almost a light rain falling.

I was able to mow the old strawberry bed very close....now will till a row for the garlic, hopefully, later today.

I wandered out back to the Orchard Garden and took some pictures of the little trees that are looking very good. This is the Gloria peach tree,
From Orchard
The Trail of Tears beans caught my eye, so I picked a bowl full of them, stuffing them in various pockets.

I could see the llamas out back so drove out here to check them. Bette does not like the dog; note the flattened ears.

From September 2010

I managed to process 7 bags of apples for pies and cooked the peelings and cores for jelly. I want to pick up a gallon of fresh cider for the jelly today after the doctor appointment. I like to add a little for flavor to the jelly.

It is going to be an unseasonably cool night...down in the 40's.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hamburger Buns - Cookies

Our cooler weather and rain arrived sometime during the night. We got just under one inch. This is the first day in a long time that we have had the windows open all day. It is wonderful.

Thank goodness we went back outside yesterday afternoon and picked up all the debris from the various beds and trimmed a tree from the driveway where is brushed the truck top every time we pulled in. While DH unloaded all this, I finished the mowing. We wanted to beat the rain and we did. I still need to trim the rest of the front ditch but will do that tomorrow. I am getting closer to being caught up.

Need to remember to plant garlic!

We have been out of hamburger/sandwich buns for a long time so I took advantage of the cool morning to make some. This is an old recipe from a Fleischmann Margarine cookbook of the 1970's called Cheesy Onion Hamburger Buns.

One Bowl Cheesy Onion Burger Buns (From old Fleischmann's Yeast Cookbook

Makes 20 -2.1 oz buns (approximately)

5-3/4 to 6-3/4 cups unsifted flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 packages yeast (2-1/4 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons softened butter
2 cups very hot tap water
1-1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
¼ cups chopped onion (optional)

In a large bow thoroughly mix 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add softened butter.

Gradually add very hot tap water to bowl with mixer on medium speed. Beat 2 minutes.
Add l cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape bowl occasionally. Stir in cheese and onion and enough additional flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured board 8-10 minutes (I use the mixer dough hook for 4 to 6 minutes)

Place in greased bowl , turning to grease top of dough, cover with damp cloth and let raise about l hour.

Punch dough down; turn out onto lightly floured board, divide dough into 20 equal pieces. Form each into smooth ball. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover (I don't) and let raise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Bake in hot oven 400° for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook on wire racks.

Note: Add 1 Tablespoons dough enhancer (optional).
Note: For soft tops, brush with melted butter
From Food

I also made the iced soft cookies again.

I am still reading a very good Dennis Lehane novel, The Given Day. It is quite different from the other books of his that we have read. I am enjoying it very much.

This is probably the last phlox bouquet of the year:

Harvest Corn, Fresh Trail of Tears Beans - Ditch Trimming

I tackled the east front ditch this morning....imagine two months of crab grass about 3 feet tall for about 35 feet.........bless that old Stihl grass trimmer. I whizzed through that in no time. I just started the west side, but played out after about 15 feet...will finish tomorrow.

Next I headed out to the Orchard Garden to chop some pig weed from around my few turnip plants.While back there, I decided to harvest my crop of field corn before the rains begin and mold sets in. It didn't make as much as I anticipated, but I guess that is the difference between heirloom and hybrid corn. I haven't shucked it yet.
From September 2010
I noticed the Trail of Tears Beans growing up the stalks was large enough to pick a few so I did.

Then I got so tired of seeing all the blasted gray squash bugs on the failed Seminole Indian Pumpkin patch, I decided to mow it all down. Of course, I had failed to mark my sweet potato row and those vines have gone crazy and I mowed over about 10 feet of the row, topping a potato or two. So, then we had to harvest a few hills of Beauregard sweet potatoes. They seem very long and slender this year.
I think I will try to get a soil test done this winter.

So for dinner today we will be having:

Sweet potatoes (not cured)
Barely sauteed fresh green beans
Mashed Yukon Gold potatoes
Pork Chops for DH and I will have liver and onions.
Cherry Pie
From Food
From Food

Re: Comments

I do enjoy hearing from you all!

Susan, I can imagine what fun you all had. Wow, just think cherry pie and now I get to add gin.....no that would be raisins to my list of health foods.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Busy Morning

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This was milk morning and I was so thankful I am now able to do that...milk. We had a busy morning planned so I wanted to keep to a schedule of milking at 8, finished up at 8:30; then help DH load the sale calves and off to the Sale Barn, back home and then to town for lunch with the in-laws.

Willow would not cooperate; she would not let her milk down..........at all. Did you know cows can do that? She has always adored her babies and really just wants them to nurse; me she just tolerates but has always let down her milk eventually. I wash her udder, strip her a few times and slowly you can feel her udder fill up and milking is easy. I finally led her outside and tied her where she could see the babies......still no let down.

DH said to just let her wait and we would do the calves first and then come back and I could milk. Well one hour later I am back and this time decided to just let her baby in with me to nurse while I milked my side. Worked like a charm and I got as much milk from my half as I have been getting milking all her quarters on milk day. She has been holding back for the calves! I will now be milking on shares on my day to milk! She has been giving twice what I thought.

She just looks independent, doesn't she?

From Cows and Heifers
We are back home and still waiting to the calves to sell. This was a big day at the barn so it may be late this evening before we can go in and pick up the check. They will just mail it but that is a two-day delay so we usually just pick it up.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cherry Pies - weeding - shopping

We are having a very hot day for the last of summer!

I did get out around 8 AM this morning and finished (did you hear? finished!) the big driveway border. The good thing about leaving the very tall perilla was that it shaded the ground and so there were practically no tiny grass -like weeds around any iris! Those are the ones I hate the most.

DH loaded up his first pickup load of debris to haul off........more to follow.

A dear internet friend who has had lots of muscle pain and other difficulties sent me a box of massage oils and some of her special homemade soap, and other items that she believes are very healing for joints. I also have a list of things to get when we do our Wal Mart thing later this afternoon, fish oil, flax seed and some B-complex. I want to do everything I can to help my body heal itself.

She also suggested drinking cherry juice concentrate, eating cherries, even pie daily. That was all the suggestion I needed. I used the last of the new recipe for pie crust that I had frozen and made 2 cherry pies. I make large pies so was a little short for the top crust on one and just laid it on top and couldn't make the stand up edging. We ate it hot, like cherry cobbler for lunch.
The crust holds up well after freezing.
From Food

Two flower pictures from today:

I don't think this rose of sharon has ever spread out and down like it has this year, but I love it and hope it continues this way. My others are more vase-like.

and a mid-size,self-seeded salvia spendens at the edge of the Light Pole Bed.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weeding Disaster -

Yesterday, I made a serious and very dangerous mistake cleaning up the light pole bed. This is where the propane generator sits with a copper tubing type gas line running from the 1000 gallon propane tank to it.

I decided I could set the mower blade at its highest and just mow around some things; I snagged the gas line going to the generator and immediately smelled gas. I shut everything down and could hear the gas hissing from the line. I ran to the tank and turned the valve off until the hissing stopped. Now here we are on Sunday, with a semi emergency on hand. Where are the gas suppliers when you need them. We played pass the buck a couple of times before I gave in and called our regular very high priced HVAC people who were out in an hour. It was a simple fix; I had just pulled the fitting loose. I am afraid to get the bill!
From September 2010
So, I spent almost three hours this morning cutting by hand with the loppers and the hedge trimmers some very tall stuff so I could actually see what I was doing. I exposed some very large stepping stones I had forgotten about. Now I think I can safely guide DH in there with the brush hog and cut most of it down. I will not be driving the tractor.

This is one of the beds that will be simplified next year to mostly mowing.

With the onset of fall some things are looking better.

These always make me happy, the white vinca.
From September 2010
and my one surviving Kiss Me Over The Garden Gate plant:
From September 2010
Also I have noticed all the red salvia get a much richer shade of red as the temps start cooling down.

This is Lady in Red that edges the Hummingbird Bed and comes up voluntarily each year.

Ilene has been showing us her white hyacinth bean vine which is adapting to its new home beautifully. My purple one is now 24 feet long and I promise you is one single vine! I can find very few seed pods, but I do have my eye on some on the back side. I think this must be a special plant so I do hope I can save some seeds. Hint: It is also planted at the base of the compost pile on the back side of the fence....that might have something to do with its jack-in-the-bean stalk growth.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Well at last; Garden clean up- Adding to Ilene's Insantity comments

Well at last, Thank God, I am well at last! (taking a little editorial liberty here).

My wrist was so bad Thursday that I called the doctor early Friday morning and they told me if I could get there in one hour they would work me in. Let me tell you that is a mad dash for us out here in the country but we made it.

He left me on steroids for now but gave me a shot of cortisone in the top of my very swollen and sore left wrist...........almost as bad as labor pains! It throbbed for two hours. I took one of few remaining pain pill as soon as we got home.

This morning it was almost normal. For the first time in two months, I was outside by 7:30 AM, string trimming, pulling weeds and trimming a pear tree. It felt wonderful. I did wear a wrist brace.

What this taught me that I should have been old enough to know anyway was this:

When we are in pain or disabled, we become quickly depressed. I kept thinking we would end up selling the farm, moving to town. It was just all too much. I walked by weed grown flower beds and all I could think was get the tractor out and just mow everything down. It was just too much for me.

Well I began this morning by tearing into the Milk Parlor bed where the pear tree was half dead from fireblight and the morning glories had it weighted down almost to the ground. First thing was get that vine off and then prune out the dead stuff. I found 5 or 6 Kieffer pears (hope I can made a small batch of pear honey) still hanging on. Then I did decide to mow the entire flower bed in front of the fence to the ground. I figure it is close enough to the end of the growing season than everything will be OK and if it isn't, that's OK too.
I mowed iris, dayliles, cosmos and peonies to the ground. I feel very good about it now. Of course, there will be a pickup of debris to haul off.
From September 2010
Can you tell how the poor pear tree is leaning backward and to the left? The m.g. vines were 1/2 inch thick!
From September 2010

I also did the corner garage bed down the side to the Garden Gate, mostly with the string trimmer. But a few very thick lamb's quarter that DH took out for me.
I also cut back the butterfly bush a bit.
Then I started on that 40 foot long driveway border that I will probably eliminate next year. I just got about 8 feet done of that.

Common sense and my husband convinced me two hours was enough for the first day.


On our local news last night: Christian County will be releasing all criminals with minor offenses, nothing violent, and those who can't make bail because the jails are too full and it is costing them too much money to house them. He actually had an account of the costs versus just turning them loose. Now they will all wear ankle things to keep track of them. I kept thinking if they really wanted to save money, just don't arrest them in the first place for minor stuff.....or just get rid of most of the police force and just answer calls for serious crimes.

It is just insane!

Ilene, you and I need to get well fast............and quit listening to news and commercials and most TV.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Rain - Corkscrew Vine - Organizing Freezer

The predicted rains came. I don't know how much yet but a very good one. We were still wet from previous rains but will not complain.

I woke up early so just got up at 3 AM. Of course, I had gone to bed very early. Sitting in my chair in the kitchen is getting very old. I read a little and watched a little PBS TV and was sound asleep very early. The thunder woke me and I got up and unplugged the computer and peripherals. We didn't get any severe weather but an area further south and east of us did; trees down and power out.

DH is having to do everything without assistance these days. He managed to unload the cattle trailer and get the steer loaded without many difficulties. We delivered him to the processor yesterday morning around 8 AM. In about 11 days we should have meat in the freezer. We still have hamburger but nothing else. I am looking forward to a good roast.

I looked over the yard and almost cried........he has been keeping up with the mowing but trimming is something he doesn't even see! I took the cutters to him and made him cut down a couple of tree-sized weeds by the garage door. I have already warned him that today I will be supervising and "we" will be trimming. I hope if I wrap my wrist I can hold the trimmer myself. He hates using it. Still very little improvement with the prednisone at such a low dose. I may call doctors today.

Corkscrew Vine

It finally opened wide but is so high up that I can't smell it from the porch. I just hope it makes seed. I think wasps are the pollinator; hope they find it.

I took this picture in early morning light (almost before sunrise). The Buff Beauty rose is blooming again. Finally there are no Japanese Beetles to mar the blossoms.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Llama - Weaned Calves

The new llama was delivered today. She is Marlena's mother. I am naming her Bette as in Bette Davis Eyes. I think she is prettier that Marlena. DH thinks she may be more aggressive....a good thing.
From Llama

DH took several pictures (he always does!)so if you want to see more. Just click on the picture.

He also is beginning to wean the beef calves for selling. I think he has eight up so far. They were very curious about the llama in the pen next to them.
From Cows and Heifers

Made a mad dash to the doctor with my left wrist; more x-rays and a prescription for predisone. My wrist is already better after just two pills. Keeping my fingers crossed. He is not sure about the diagnosis now..........

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pie Crust Recipe - Taking a Break

Having difficulty using my left hand so will be taking a break from typing for a bit- not long I hope.

Here is the recipe. I got it from the Cooking Forum. I believe it was originally posted by Sharon (Canary Islands)and reposted by Annie.

I used part lard and part butter. All else the same.


These quantities make enough pastry for 3 double-crust pies or 3 1/2 dozen tart shells - muffin size.
5 cups flour
1 teasp salt
2 teasp baking powder
1 lb (454 grams) Tenderflake lard
2 teasp white vinegar
1 egg - slightly beaten. Add water to vinegar and egg to make 1 cup
1) Mix together flour, salt and baking powder. Cut in lard until crumbly (using two knives.)
2) Add liquid and mix gently with hands. (I use a fork to help me here.) Roll into a ball.
3) Roll out amount needed on a floured board. Refrigerate or freeze remainder.
Source: 'I've GOT To Have That Recipe'
Doubleday Canada - Victoria, B.C. 1986
sharoncb's tip: After step two I often put it in the fridge for an hour to make it firmer and easier to roll out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday September 9, 2010 - Rain - Oven Hinges - Chocolate Pie

We have been getting a very nice, gentle rain since about 1 AM this morning. I am sure it is all soaking in the ground. It is the kind of rain we are want to get.

Sears was out once again for my lemon JennAir range, another set of oven door hinges...enough said.

I have a chicken in the pot boiling. I may try Chicken Gumbo for tomorrow. I am thinking chili for today.

I made a chocolate pie yesterday after my husband casually remarked that it was his favorite pie and I never made it. That's all it took; any excuse to bake.
I tried a new crust recipe from the Cooking Forum called Nathan's Never Fail. It uses a little baking powder and makes a lot of crust. I think I froze three bags.
I was impressed with it, rolled out easily even without chilling the dough. The chocolate pie was from my old trusted Betty Crocker cookbook. I thought it was a little chocolaty. I used squares instead of my usual powdered cocoa.
From 2010_09_08

There is only one piece left...his folks came out for eggs and I sent two large pieces home with them.
From 2010_09_08

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Llama - Corkscrew Vine - Grandpa Otts - A small thing for the house

Very nice here this morning, 64°. Still no rain. Tomorrow is supposed to be the rainy day.

We ordered another llama yesterday from our neighbor. I hope he manages to get it delivered before the heifers start calving.

We have noticed the new bull is very mouthy! We aren't used to that. I hope he stops eventually.

Interesting sideline to the bull story, the couple (in their 70's) that we bought him from looked to be the nicest people. Their home was immaculate, the lawn and gardens beautiful and money seemed to be no problem. My aunt tells me the wife took off August 25. Evidently over the 49-year marriage she has done that twice before. This time he found that she hadn't paid their taxes for three years. He left all business transactions and bill paying up to her! The place sold on the courthouse steps this year and he missed the deadline to buy it back by three days! What a mess. After meeting them, it is almost impossible to believe it.
What is that old saying? "You can't tell a book by its cover!"

We finished mowing yesterday and that is about all we got done except I made DH clean out the feed room. He hauled two trash cans to the dumpster for pickup.
I had ordered feed for today's delivery and didn't want to be embarrassed by his messy feed room! He is not a tidy man...........

The morning glories tried to choke out the autumn clematis again but it prevailed.

You can smell it all over the back yard.

From September 2010
and here is Grandpa Otts

From September 2010
No doubt he will be coming up all over the farm after we are dead and gone. Quite often in places I would rather he wasn't (coming up that is).

Here is the vigna caracalla (corkscrew) vine. I planted early so I would get seeds....notice the blooms are at the roof line. I have to stand out in the yard at the end of the porch to see them. I don't know if I will be able to smell them that far off. Maybe the one vine that ran across the porch sideways will set blooms. This plant frustrate me so much. I saw one at the local garden and it was in full glorious bloom on the corner of an arbor support. Why can't I get mine to behave that way? I keep trying. The bloom and the fragrance are worth it.

From September 2010


I have never been good with house plants but I have finally managed to keep three alive and looking decent. They were still in the little plastic pots from the store after several years. Every time they got dry, over they would go, sometimes falling to the floor. Finally, I made a point of finding some ceramic (heavy) containers for them.........then that little project waited for a week. Yesterday was the big day. I re-potted them.

I was very pleased how the blue pot looks with the wall paper in the dining room. I did not plan that.
From Inside House

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

4:30 AM, 69°

I will be working outside this morning. I need to finish mowing the yard and attack at least one flower bed that has tree-size weeds growing. If I get up the nerve I will show before and after pictures.

I grew an heirloom okra this year....the only thing I liked about it was this:
From September 2010
I think it was called 'Alabama Red'. I want to cut some and dry it.

I found a use for the corn I pulled off.
From September 2010

Once again, I failed to pinch back sedum Matrona and this is the result.
From September 2010

Here is a pretty little grass, but when I look at it I can't help thinking this is the stuff we try to get rid of on the farm! We call it foxtail.

From September 2010

This is milking morning. Hope Willow agrees.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Caramel Rolls - What's Blooming - Strange Caterpillars on Snaps

Fall is in the air and I love it.

I went out at 7:30 and mowed the east and front yard. No dew at all. Very breezy.
DH is now out back mowing the Orchard Garden. We will pick tomatoes later today.

Yesterday I got a hankering to bake some caramel rolls, those flatter ones like you get at the bakeries. I didn't have a recipe exactly made for them so used my new favorite recipe from AnnT's blog Thibault's Table and just cut them much thinner. I will use less filling next time so it won't run out on the pans so badly.

From Food

It made 24 large rolls. We took two in the DH's folks late afternoon.

I don't have too much blooming now but I took some pictures of various ones.

This is Double JoAnn daylily reblooming. I bought this at the Master Gardener's sale a couple of years ago.
From September 2010
and this is the end of the Hummingbird Bed nearest the kitchen. The phlox are still hanging on and now the 'Robustissima' anemone is in full swing. I love this plant. It is not quite as lush this year because of the weather. I have watered it a few times. This is a grouping of three plants originally purchased at Bluestone Perennials several years ago.
From September 2010
It was so breezy, I should have changed the setting on the camera but didn't so they are a little blurry.
From September 2010

I found a lot of these caterpillars on the few little snaps. I have posted on the Butterfly Forum to see if anyone knows what they are. If anyone knows, please let me know. They have stripped one of the plants completely. Are they bad or good?

From Caterpillars

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Orchard Garden update - OP Corn - Ornamental Grass

Beautiful Sunday morning!

I finally made it back to the Orchard Garden.

The OP corn is drying nicely and the pole beans Cherokee Trail of Tears may yet make some beans before frost. There are pretty pinks blooms on it now.
From Harvest 2010

The Seminole Indian pumpkin is looking very iffy. Just a few small fruit and the center of the vines is dead from the dratted gray squash bugs. I dusted with Sevin, but too little; too late. I still have lots frozen and canned from my bounty of Long Island Cheese from last year so if I just get one to test, I won't complain (too much).

Sweet potato vines are lush.

Something is stripping the tomato plants of leaves but I can't see the worms. Maybe the birds have found them; I hope! I have plenty of them already processes so no real issues there.

The sad thing is I didn't get a single turnip plant. Then the heavy rains ran across the area and there are deep rivulets in the soil. I will be retilling that soon. The planting should be in a different direction from the drainage. All must be north and south. I hope I remember that next year.

The small orchard looks wonderful. All needs mowing but that is a quick and easy job with the riding mower and DH has been doing it for me.

I hope next year to have a hoophouse of cattle panels out there for pole beans.
I will just keep the kitchen garden out behind the house for lettuces, radishes, spinach, and maybe flowers.

Strawberries out there succumbed to the drought and my forgetful watering.
I do want a new bed but may do it in the new area.

This winter will be for planning.

The open pollinated field corn is Reid's Yellow Dent. I think it is going to be a great success. It got 12 feet tall and the ears are about 9 to 10 inches long.
I just had to pull a few ears to check it out. It is beautiful with almost white clean husks (wouldn't they be great for tamales?). I was afraid the kernels were going to be tiny, but they arent.
From Harvest 2010
From Harvest 2010
I used to help Grandma feed her chickens with field corn that Grandpa planted every year. They kept it in a corn crib behind the barn. We would go back there and Grandma would put a couple of ears into her apron that she always wore (I do too!). Then we would shell it for the chickens. I was delighted I remembered how to do it.....I would need leather gloves to do much though. I plan to buy a cast aluminum sheller.....maybe.
From Harvest 2010
From Harvest 2010

OK, don't mean to be so boring here about the corn. You can see what excites me.

Here is a picture of my grasses. You can see why they call the miscanthus 'Morning Light'. I love how the early morning sun shines through the blooms/seed heads.
From September 2010