canning

Autumn Chores

As I look at the last post date, I truly have two choices to make. I could feel bad about how ridiculously long it has been since I last shared farm news, OR I could share some updates and forget the first part! I choose the later. 

Back to school and fall harvest equal a mountain of tasks that I wouldn't even be able to list had I not captured some of them on camera. We've celebrated the arrival of two new calves this last week, harvested enormous quantities of vegetables and fruits, canned, saved seeds, bottle fed our two precious pygmy goats almost to complete independence, prepared the bees for winter, and did I mention start school and survive soccer season? 

Three generations- Patch the bull, baby brother Buddy the bull and mama Snow White.

Three generations- Patch the bull, baby brother Buddy the bull and mama Snow White.

Are you ready? I don't even know if I am! I have so many pictures to share, it is hard to know where to start. Perhaps the best conclusion is... the realization that I can quickly share the snapshots now and then share the nuts and bolts of these projects over the upcoming winter months. Fall is upon us farm friends. Instead of an overwhelming declaration of information all in one sitting, I will plan to share more as the upcoming nights grow longer. 

Seed Saving

Zucchini

Pumpkins

Our annual pumpkin pick down the driveway proved quite successful this year. The bees did an amazing job cross pollinating and providing a crowd pleasing variety.

Our annual pumpkin pick down the driveway proved quite successful this year. The bees did an amazing job cross pollinating and providing a crowd pleasing variety.

Grapes

Thanks to the thoughtful planning of Grandma and Papa Klann before us, we have three varieties of grapes growing on the farm. One small seedless variety that melt in your mouth and two seeded varieties. 

This is the first year the purple concord grapes were able to fully ripen on the south side of the house. 

This is the first year the purple concord grapes were able to fully ripen on the south side of the house. 

Eleanor and Emmett celebrate successful grape picking. 

Eleanor and Emmett celebrate successful grape picking. 

Red Pepper Jelly

There is a special someone in my life (my baby brother Jake) who celebrates his birthday in October. It's a big sister's job to make sure her "little" brother gets what he wishes for on his special day. Uncle Jake asked for jelly and that is just what he will get. 

Mixing ingredients to make red pepper jelly. Once canned, you dump it on a cube of cream cheese and spread it on crackers. It makes for a sweet, spicy mix slathered on a cracker.

Mixing ingredients to make red pepper jelly. Once canned, you dump it on a cube of cream cheese and spread it on crackers. It makes for a sweet, spicy mix slathered on a cracker.

Fifty plus baby bell pepper plants grew in the garden this year. Because of the incredibly long growing season this year, we were able harvest lots and lots of peppers. Peppers in Central Oregon are pretty hard to come by unless you grow them in a greenhouse. This year proved anything can happen.

Tomatillos

For a year that I hadn't even planned on harvesting tomatillos, we had a good one! We grew tomatillos last year and several plants reseeded themselves in the garden. I would cautiously estimate 30+ pounds of tomatillos came out of the garden this year and this equated to green enchillada sauce and lots and lots of salsa. If you haven't tried growing a tomatillo, I would suggest it. They aren't the slightest bit spicy, but they add a lot to a recipe.

Tomatoes, tomatoes

The tomatoes came on late this year and for a while I was afraid I wouldn't have any to harvest. Last weekend we worked to pick, clean, slice, and dehydrate over ten pounds of tomatoes. Grabbing them out of the freezer in the dead of winter to toss on top of a salad is well worth the effort this time of year. 

Thankful

Having baskets full of harvest can make for a daunting autumn season. I work so hard to get the garden going, I hate to not salvage all I can from its bounty. Having the honey bees here on the farm has 100% made a difference with our garden. For the cold months ahead and the many meals we will enjoy, I thank the bees and cherish sharing it with all of these creatures (human and not!).