Friday, August 28, 2015

All In A Days' Work

It's been another busy day here at the farm.

There always seems to be something going on in the farmhouse kitchen these days.

The little Country Charm range is cooking, reducing, boiling, roasting and canning just about every other day.

Tomatoes and okra seem to be never-ending.

I've been pickling the okra.

Tomatoes can be found on the kitchen counter, kitchen window sill, in baskets on the kitchen counter... they're everywhere!

The previous batch of tomatoes were roasted with garlic, basil, salt and pepper then pureed in the food processor.  The farmhouse smelled SO good!  Today I strained it, reduced it a bit then canned it.

Today's batch were simply roasted with some salt and pepper and pureed.  I will can this batch another day.

Here's today's canning results...

 Seven pints of roasted tomato, garlic & basil sauce and nine pints of pickled okra.

While I was working in the kitchen CountryBoy gathered some hay from the lower pasture.

Ah, the ever present helpers!

Three truck loads later we have a stall full of hay.

Before gathering the hay he dug up some potatoes...

These are from just a small area that he dug up...

We have lots more to dig up.

Which, is one of the reasons for the hay.  We're going to use some of it to help store the taters over winter.

We are getting nine, sometimes ten eggs a day from the helpers, er girls, er chickens!

Eight of them were in the nest boxes in the coop today and the other two were in the wood shed where CountryBoy made a nest for them.  We're good with that!  Let's hope they keep laying in either of those spots.

This type of work is not your typical days' work for most people but, for us, it's becoming very typical.  And, we love it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Nip In The Air

We are still in the month of August and yet there is a nip in the air!

Several days last week were very Fall like as far as the weather goes.

It was cool and breezy reminding us to hang in there; that slower times are ahead.

I found this leaf in the garden last week as well.  The promise of things to come.

This week the highs are to be in the high 70's and the lows in the 50's.

There's just something about the approach of Fall.

I can never put my finger on it but it's there.  Invigorating.  Inviting.

Before we know it, it will be everything PUMPKIN - yay!

I even found some Fall candy in the store that somehow ended up in the cart (wink).

And my very first quilt I ever made is conveniently draped on the back of the couch and has been put to use several times already over the past week.

I love these colors! 

What's your favorite season?

Monday, August 24, 2015

Crazy Good!

I have wanted to write a blog post for several weeks now but it's been crazy busy around here and I just haven't had the time.

I know, I know it's been quiiiite a while since my last post but as a new homesteader and farm girl I've been a tad caught up in the summer's harvest.

Our freezer is chock full of corn (both on the cob and off), purple hull peas (or cowpeas, if you will), whole okra, green beans, lima beans, sliced & battered squash (for frying), squash fritter mix, homemade chicken broth, blackberries and black raspberries. 

Our tomatoes took a while to ripen but once they started they kept on.  And are STILL keeping on!

We constantly have tomatoes sitting everywhere... in baskets, in bowls, on the kitchen window sill...

We've eaten lots of tomato sandwiches and toasted bread with tomatoes, basil & mozzarella...

We've made and canned spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes and tomato juice.

And, no sooner than the jars are out of the canner there are more tomatoes that need to be picked.

Same goes for the okra.

Since the freezer is full we are now watching and picking okra that is the perfect size for pickling.

With all the canning we've been doing we've been using an old cupboard we took out of the old kitchen and had put in the dining room as a temporary storage solution as our pantry.  We relocated it this morning on another wall in the dining room and the dining room, as a whole, looks so much better. 

Love seeing all the jars of home grown goodness!

We still have to dig up the potatoes.  We're working on some long-term storage solutions for the potatoes since we are looking at maybe 300 pounds worth of potatoes to store.  Yikes!

Crazy good!

The elderberries down by the creek also ripened so I made some elderberry syrup.  We will take some of this daily starting next month to build up our immune system for cold & flu season.

In between picking and putting up the harvest I managed to finish the guest room quilt top.  I've got the quilt sandwich made now I'm just deciding how I want to quilt it.  Queen size quilt sandwich with black cat named Precious!

I plan on hand quilting it block by block using a vintage pattern I found online.  We'll see how it goes (wink!).

During all the harvesting and canning the farm was full of flowers which attracted loads of butterflies.

Can you find them all in the above photo?

And the other night during the evening's harvest the night sky was quite dramatic behind the ol' farmhouse...

I now understand why homesteaders look forward to winter.  It's a time to slow down, rest and recoop from all the work during Spring and Summer.

Crazy good!