It is harvest time in the Interior. Low lying areas have had a few light frosts by now, enough that most zucchini, pumpkins and heat loving plants have succumbed - especially if they were not under cover. In the hills we are safe for a couple more weeks, but it is certainly time to begin the harvest, as much as we'd like to let everything just keep on growing. My bush beans, cucumbers and tomatoes were late this year and are just finally getting going. I'm hoping to make a couple batches of pickled dilly beans and pickled cucumbers over the next week or two. The peas have almost come to a complete halt, and so I should probably begin pulling vines and feeding them to the goats. One of my gardening weaknesses is spreading out the harvest. I just want to keep cutting broccoli side shoots and allow the cabbages and squash to grow bigger and bigger. And that is why I never get the compost worked in the fall - because before I know it the plants are frozen into the solid ground - oops.
This past weekend we took a short vacation. My doe who is due any day now is still due, maybe today? When we got back we killed off our bees :( and extracted honey. We had a very warm sticky kitchen and house for a night. Noah did most the cranking. I had to mop the floor the next morning before we even made breakfast, as it was so sticky to walk around. We are the proud owners of three and half gallons of our own honey - not a great yield or even a good yield, but I'll take it. My bees are still working on building their home; building wax onto their new frames - that's my excuse. I made some medicine this week with plants and weeds from the garden, tinctures of Callendula flowers, whole Spilanthes plants in bloom, whole Callifornia poppy plant and whole Plantain. We've been picking Callendula and Chamomile for tea and oil.
Our to do list is oh so long. It is the time of year where I need to harvest or put something up daily. At the top of the harvesting list are twelve very large crowing Cornish Cross (they've been on the list for a few weeks now.) I was planning on picking crab apples at a friend's today, for making applesauce - depending on how our doe is looking. The freezer is filling up, first blueberries, rhubarb and then raspberries. Next chicken followed by vegetables. It is time to make some lists so I don't go around in circles trying to figure out what to do first. The Golden leaves are falling. The Fireweed and ground plants are turning shades of red and brown. Are you guys feeling the autumn scramble?
2 weeks ago