Saturday, September 24, 2011

Frost on the Horizon

Looks and feels like cold. I was going to say winter, but, well, not yet. Our Birch trees are mostly naked. The sky this week has not been the clear bright blue of September skies, but instead; is a dull gray, heavy with the promise of moisture (of some form, rain, rain like snow, snow...frost?). We have yet to have a hard frost. I suppose I can thank the heavy clouds for keeping the temperatures milder. I suppose they'll have to clear off if we are to get the colder temperatures in the forecast. I'm checking the forecast daily. This weekend we are suppose to get lows in the high twenties, and rain, possibly snow showers. Dum da Dum dum.

My goals for the weekend are to finish up the garden. Snip most of the lettuces, chard and kale - if I can find room in the fridge or time to blanch and freeze. Each fall I like to experiment with covering rows with fabric row covers, plastic or sometimes old windows, to see how long I can extend the cold weather greens. This year I've got some late sowed lettuces in the greenhouse I'm going to cover and see if they'll last a while. The kale usually withstands the hard frosts and early snows. I plan on picking peas and pole beans one last time. The most time consuming chore I still have to do is pulling beets and carrots. It doesn't take that long to pull them out of the ground, but then I have to find time to clean and bag them, and then room in the backup fridge. Another year going into winter without a root cellar. I have to full size refrigerators, two chest freezers, and thankfully, I've been taking out some produce to store in my mom's garage and backup fridge. So, I'll find room for it all some way or another - and not let the carrots and beets freeze in the hay pile like I did last year.

This week the kids and I picked cranberries. I've dried one batch in the dehydrator. When I get the garden done, we'll be picking cranberries until they are covered by the snow. I could not have enough dried cranberries, tiny, tart, ruby glistening jewels that they are.

I got a call from my brother this week, letting me know if I could come out and help cut up a Moose leg, that I could have the meat. So after a few hours of enjoyable meat cutting and wrapping, I brought home probably sixty to seventy pounds of boneless chunks of meat, for roasts, steaks, curries, stews and jerkey. There was about ten pounds of grind meat, and an additional twenty pounds of scraps for dog food or for the chickens. As we have all our own turkey, duck and chicken meat, salmon and a small amount of goat meat, we don't eat much red meat- so I we are all very excited to have this much moose in the freezer.

We got out and had some fun one morning this week. The kids and I are starting to go to a Waldorf play group for mom's and young children who are homeschooling with a Waldorf approach. This week the kids starting a batch of marigold dye and then added silk scarves to the pot. Then we worked in the Creamer's Field garden, digging potatoes. Of course lots of stories and songs were sung. Next week we are celebrating Michaelmas, with our new silk scarves, a bonfire, hot drinks and food.

D worked is working close to eighty hours this week including his drive time back and forth between Delta. We are ready for his work to slow, so that we can prepare for winter. I am ready for family mornings, big breakfasts and harvest celebrations. The end of busy days is in sight. I feel like I've got another week or two of craziness. Then I see slower days, crafts, knitting, reading without guilt, and time for special meals with all the wonderful food close at hand. So I started this post thinking of the oncoming cold and frost. I close thinking of wood fires and looking forward to feeling less rushed, more time to just play with and listen to my children and family.


Lindsey at NW Backyard Veggies said...

I absolutely love these glimpses into your family's life. You are so much more off the grid than I get to be. Jealous? mmm...A little. Not of the cold, though! We are still hitching up to 80 degree days down here in Seattle....

I just spied the first golden leaves on my ash tree. Fall is here!

Plickety Cat said...

I'm so jealous! Can't wait until we're as set up as you are, putting up our harvest and squaring things away instead of scrambling on the cabin so as not spend *another* winter in the wall tent. (almost able to move in - fingers crossed)

We've already had a few decent frosts, not a hard one yet though, even though we've gotten a couple wispy snow flurries in the early morning. SOON!! Must be a little cooler down here in the valley, especially since we're barely getting any decent sun through all the clouds. Everyone's beans an peas are done and dying down here, you're lucky to get one more harvest.

All our aspens and birch are mostly naked too, but we've got cranberries and blue berries galore. I know what I'll be doing once we move into the cabin! Thank goodness they're still yummy until they disappear under the snow :)

Madeleine Vedel said...

I am loving your blog. I first discovered you through your goat posts -- particularly the well-researched one on sprouted barley, something a friend has fed to his goats here in Provence for years. I am in Avignon, my kids are at a Waldorf school, and I've a tiny version of what you've put in place -- chickens, a small garden, time with goats, canning, baking, nourishing, kids (though mine are quite a bit older at 9 and 14). Bravo for all you've done and are doing!

Emily said...

Madeleine, thanks, I love meeting folks living a similar lifestyle. I've just discovered the Waldorf education philosophy this year. Wish I'd done some research earlier and hadn't introduced some things as early as I did. But, anyway, I am very excited about it. I love the waldorf playgroup we are joining. Best wishes, Emily

Trish said...

have you seen this blog:
its how I learned about some of what the waldorf approach is. I find it pretty interesting.