Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Final summer days

I have the worst cold ever. I could write an entire post detailing every part of my body that hurts, but instead I'll attempt to rechannel my self pity and share some of the goings on here, before the events are too outdated. D has been working about sixty hours a week, which doesn't leave much time for extra projects. But he got a couple extra days off last week and rented an auger, put in twenty-eight post holes, and planted ten foot posts around the garden. The fence has yet to go in yet. I'm beginning to worry more about an early frost than a moose attack. We've already had a frost advisory for low lying areas and I heard Delta had a hard freeze already. Usually our garden goes until mid to late September, as our hill location is buffered from the early frosts that put an end to low lying gardens. The last few years we have had beautiful August and Septembers, the nights are cool, but the days are sunny and warm, giving us an extended time to get the harvest in. This year something tells me winter is going to come early.

The trees are still green. I have to really scan the woods to find any yellow. The fireweed are in full bloom. The garden has finally reached peak season, with nothing but strawberries being on the down hill side of production. Usually once we get to this point, we have another six weeks of fresh eating. I'm thinking I've got at least a couple more weeks of enjoying peas, beans and zucchini. Maybe it is just that I feel so helpless, tired and low energy right now, but I am starting to panic. I haven't put much away yet. Once I'm feeling better, it is time to start mass harvesting, blanching and freezing. So far I've made and canned several batches of jam, and the salmon from earlier this summer. I finally got out for a blueberry picking trip this weekend, and froze about two and a half gallons of blueberries, and made a beautiful pie. I need at least one more successful blueberry run.

The Cornish are ready for the freezer. As soon as D has a day off, and I pick up two gallon freezer bags and sharpen some knives. The meat birds are looking great this year. We just recently lost our first one. We butchered two a couple weeks ago for some fresh chicken meals, which leaves twenty-two for butchering day. They are pretty uniform in size this year, I'm guessing most of them will be in the five to six pound range if we do them soon. I'm ready for the geese and ducks to move into their new home, once the Cornish are out.

And now for some more summer pictures:

We made rhubarb strawberry jam with half our own strawberries, rhubarb ginger jam, rhubarb blueberry jam, rhubarb preserves and then we froze a couple gallons of chopped rhubarb. Thanks Nancy for the rhubarb!!

Summer is winding up. The mornings and nights are chilly, and even some afternoons. There is so much to do it is overwhelming. Today is a good day for making lists, and just enjoying the sun and the green.


Buttons said...

Get well soon Emily your family is beautiful. I think that seemed like an unusually short summer. B

gotomakan said...

Rhubarb ginger sounds like a divine combination. I'm going recipe hunting now. :-)
love ya!

Anonymous said...

I just got back from visiting Fairbanks and the community of O'Connor Creek that I will be moving to in January. I like Alaska! It will be a different environment in January than it was in August. Any tips for me on making it through my first Alaskan winter? Your garden is beautiful! I am looking forward to buying goats from you and starting my own garden. I would like to meet you next time I am in Fairbanks. Keren

Emily said...

Keren, as far as making it through a Fairbanks winter: stay active, whether you swim laps, take yoga, join a gym or just get outside regularly for walks or skiing. Center your day around when the sun is up and shining, I try and make sure we get out while the sun is shining, and if it is too cold for the kids, we go to town and let the sun shine on us through the window.

Hunker inside, if you have a woodstove, enjoy it, if you enjoy being in the kitchen: make tons of christmas cookies, hearty soups and bake lots of bread. Place bird feeders out your kitchen or living room window, fill them and enjoy the winter bird action, make crafts. If you get really desperate, go tanning :) Oh - and buy some nice Ibex or Ice breaker merino wool long underwear/and shirt bases, smart wool socks and slippers. People usually remember the outerwear, but if you wear a warm first layer, you won't have to layer so much and feel so bulky all the time.