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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ethan is 7

It's amazing that our little Ethan is now 7!

He loves Legos so was excited to get some new ones. He also got some Transformers and Grandma Harper (Me) got him a spiderman watch.

Sydney love's parties! She is so cute!

Haily got into the birthday cake and frosting!

Sydney and Haily had to show off their new Halloween outfits that Grandma Fuller made them.

Rainy Saturday

Fall has definitely come to our little neck of the woods. It seems that our rains come on every Saturday. It sure would be nice to have a sunny one to work on the greenhouse! This look seems like I should be in Oregon right now.

I did notice this spider web which is neat with the rain on it. I wasn't sure how the picture would turn out but you can see it.

The rate of harvest has gone way down but we do have collards. Before a rainy Saturday, I ran out to pick some to cook up. I'm no Southern gal but Michael has some fond memories of his mom's collards so I'm trying!

I takes so many collards to cook down. The big bowl above cooked down to about 4 quarts of cooked collards. Michael liked them and said they were good. . . but I'm not sure they were better than his memories of his mom's!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A frosty morning

One of my favorite things about fall mornings is to be able to look out on the pond and see the steam rising. It is hard to capture is in a picture but it is so beautiful!

In this shot of the pond, you can see that we've done a lot of framing on the greenhouse. It's going a little slower than we anticipated since we've had a rainy fall.

Our first frost almost took me by surprised. Sunday night it was going to be in the 30s but I didn't realized it would be cold enough for frost. So. . . I was able to pick the rest of any tomatoes, peppers and eggplant but the plants didn't survive the cold. I will miss being able to just go and pick several times a week but we still have a lot of colder tolerant crops like my lettuces, broccoli, cabbage, collards, cauliflower, and carrots that are coming along well!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Time For Apples!

It's apple time! On Thursday, I had two RS classes on apples and applesauce. We are able to go up into Western North Carolina and get some good deals on some wonderful apples.

I bought 7 half bushel bags of apples and so we played with the apples. I have a Squeezo which helps makes applesauce very easy.

My old canner looks like it's had better days. It's probably 30 years old and I can't begin to count how many 100s of jars it's processed for me over the years.

Michael loves applesauce. Since I had some empty half gallon jars, I'm filling up them up with apples. Oh, the house smells sweet and the apples taste great!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oct 13 Garden Harvest

We have a day of sunshine in between about four days each way of clouds and rain so I ran out to work in the garden and pick the garden. We've been picking the garden since May with the strawberries! Boy, we have had a ton of food and most of our evening meals have been from the garden.

We're not done yet! This is the broccoli harvest. I have actually planted more plants of various cold crops in the garden last week just before the rain. Yesterday I started even more seeds to either go in the garden and try to stretch our growing season a little more or else maybe they will go into the greenhouse!

Here's everything I picked today. I'm surprised to still have raspberries.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A new look at a favorite scripture

One of my favorite scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants is this one:

D&C 64:34 Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.

The wonderful thing about reading and studying scriptures is that you can read them one time and get an understanding and then another time get a new understanding. I think it's based on what you are dealing with in your life at a particular time and what you need to learn through the scriptures.

Sunday in Gospel Doctrine we read that scripture. Our teacher, Rebecca, made a comment on this scripture that I had never thought of before. We were talking about the pioneers colonizing the west and how obedient they were.

She said that when she read this scripture and she realized that if we were obedient to the counsel of the Prophet regarding preparedness, we would eat well in the last days! She said that she is happy to learn that chocolate can be stored and is part of food storage!

I had never used or thought of this scripture as food storage and preparedness but she has a point! Luckily I will teach a class this week (and she's coming) on apples and making applesauce and apple pie filling (other good things to eat well)!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Garden #2

Even though we are a third of the way through October, we are still gardening along. We have been enjoying broccoli. It's too hot here to plant it in the spring through early summer but we can pretty much grow it from fall to spring and it will survive our winters.

We have clay soil but with our raised beds and nice soft soil, I planted some carrots for the first time since we've lived in the South. Here they are coming up. I hope to have some by Thanksgiving!

This is a second planting of several varieties of lettuces that grow in cooler weather.

This is a bed of cauliflower and next to it is the fall crop of green beans.

Our banana peppers seem to have been revitalized with cooler weather. They are even still blooming. I've heard they can live if brought indoors so I may try to pot one of the plants and put it in the greenhouse when it's done!

My strawberry plants have filled out the beds with runners so I am giving away plant and cleaning them out so they can be ready for another spring!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Canning Cheese

Food storage without cheese would be a terrible thing! I have struggled with this reality for a long time. I have purchased some dehydrated cheese powder and some canned processed cheese but. . . it's not the same.

I was excited to find out a way unique to can cheese about the time I found 8 oz of cheese on sale for $1 each. I follow a blog, Ask Jackie, who is a homesteader in Minnesota and she wrote about it and then I've seen directions in a few other places and decided to give it a try.

You put your clean jars in a pot and put chunks of cheese in the jars and add some water around the jars and turn on the stove to boil the water. That helps melt the cheese. As it melts, add more chunks until the jars are full.

Take them out and clean the lids and put on the lids and rings and then process the cheese in a water bath canner! The cheese will age as it's stored so you can have some yummy sharp cheese.

We tried some of the cheese. Once cooled, it hardens back up. It's not quite as smooth as the original cheese but the taste is wonderful. At room temperature, it will slide out of a large mouth pint jar (12 ounces of cheese)!


Saturday, October 3, 2009

This and that

Amazing, it's the 3rd of October and this is what I picked from the garden this evening. Granted we are now only picking 1-2 times a week but it's still coming. We will probably not have any more raspberries (on top) but we still have a lot of peppers, okra, eggplant, green beans and tomatoes. We are also now getting some broccoli and lettuces!

Michael got the roof on the storage part of the greenhouse this week. He still has to do some finishing touches but if we get rain, it shouldn't leak!

Our cats think they own the house and they just let us live with them! If Michael is in this chair, our cat, Big Boy is on his lap. If he's not, he waits for him in the chair.

It looks like it's time for a nap - he has such a tough life!