Harvest Moon ……………

My garden has been beautiful this year. Last year I couldn’t do any gardening  at all – NOTHING. This year my knee is AWESOME and I can walk and bend and run, if I wanted to. I don’t want to.

We had our first frost warnings Monday night. I’m okay with frost at this point. We do have tomatoes still on the vine – that happens when you plant 18 tomato plants. If they don’t turn, I’ll pick them and try to get them to turn (closing them up in a paper bag with an ripe fruit) or I will feed The Shepherd FRIED GREEN TOMATOES!!!!! You can bet that’s another thing he’s never had in his life, ever.

Up here, we spend the summer (the little bit of summer that we get) getting ready for winter. I would say 99% of our lives are all about winter. Bess, Pinkie and Stinkie will be taking off on October 19 to visit the USDA inspected butcher person and will return smoked and frozen. Poor things. 

I’m not as emotional about the piggies, I must admit. Not like my baby sheep. I could hardly take the fact that those little teeny fuzzy things were going to freezer camp. And, oddly enough, neither could The Shepherd. He could not even taste the meat. He looked at it in the freezer, shut the lid and shrugged. This is a guy who purposely raised sheep because he LOVES LAMB CHOPS. 

After the first bite of a rack of lamb coming off the grill, he changed his mind. And he convinced me I had to try it, because I had never eaten lamb before in my life. I come from the Midwest, downstate Illinois to be exact, and we didn’t eat lamb there. I remember someone mentioning lamb to Mom and her wrinkling her nose and saying yuck. We didn’t eat lamb.

The tomato harvest has been prolific this year. Most of them are in the freezer, nestling in their jars. I slow-roasted the tomatoes with fresh basil, oregano, olive oil and one whole head of garlic stuck in the middle of the dish. When they were done roasting, I took the garlic and squeezed out the luscious roasted garlic into the sauce. Vampires will not get us this year.

We had some zucchini and yellow squash gifted to us. Who doesn’t get a huge zucchini from someone? 

The Shepherd thought he would thrill his city daughter and send her a picture of him with this THING. We didn’t eat it but Bess, Pinkie and Stinkie did! They got most of the second, smaller one too. I did make zucchini parmesan from part of one. I don’t know if I’ve told you that The Shepherd is on this new living regime. He eats one meal a day – called OMAD – and what he eats is all keto, or as close to keto as he can get with a carb-loving wife. 

I’ve been doing it too, but I eat two meals a day. I used to be vegetarian. Now he tempts me with the fragrance of grass-fed beef steak we get from a fella up Littleton way. Since I grew up on steak once my parents were flush enough to buy a half a beef, I cannot resist it. I have the same issue with bacon and we all know I have tons of bacon coming ……………..

The bees are still buzzing. They will die in the winter, probably. They may survive but they get mites or something invading the hive …………… -30 is a bit cold for bees. Next year we will try and attract a swarm. In fact, one day about three weeks ago, we’re sitting in the garden and we hear this loud buzzing noise. Behind the house there was a huge swarm of bees. They took off, en masse, toward the south field. I don’t think we’ll have any trouble attracting native bees next year. But first, we will get the honey and the propolis – and this will be wildflower honey.

My Flowers

The wood shed is almost full. I think he will try to stack a bunch more, but if he doesn’t have time, we have about 2 years worth of wood in there now. Today our lumberjack/friend is coming to buck the huge logs we’ve had seasoning since the end of winter – or since the end of mud season – I should say!

And this will be even more wood to stack, then to leave alone for a couple of years. With fuel prices the way they are, we are NOT burning oil up here. Our new wood stove will be running overnight so we shouldn’t get up to ice coming out the faucets. And we have heat tape. Even with the heat tape, the washing machine does not love -30 temps. But she thaws out eventually so it’s cool. Believe me, I could use a break from laundry!

We’re going to start up the cheese/yogurt making soon. As soon as I get clean raw milk, I will do more yogurt. Have you seen the price on Greek yogurt these days?????????????? 

And the equinox is coming. Time to sacrifice the Harvest King ……………… whoops. 

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