Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Arrival of Fall at Jack Creek

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Katie Rose here.

*Sorry it's been a while since my last post, but I have a sneaking suspicion they will soon become more frequent with the change of season...

Tis true, we experienced our first hard frost on the evening of September first! We hit a low of 21 degrees up in Jack Creek, and not being adequately prepared for the season's early arrival, suffered a great deal of damage on our garden.

It was definitely a sad day on two levels. I hated seeing all of my beloved basil plants wither away, but the majority of our veggies were ultra-hardy, barely flinching at the shimmering frost covering their leaves for half the morning. I also came to the realization that my mornings of shorts, tank tops, and flip flops, were quickly dwindling...sigh.

I decided in the last few days, that instead of waiting until everything was fully developed and ripe, I should probably start harvesting while the gettin's were....thawed. This was my mistake with the basil, and it was NOT going to happen again! I'd be darned if any more of my veggies froze to death.

Out to the garden I traipsed a few evenings ago. It was 9 PM and a balmy 28 degrees. I wore a winter hat, wool mittens, a down vest, and a headlamp over my pajamas. I went equipped with bowls and scissors, and cut, picked, and plucked my way to A LOT of crisp cool veggies!

As you can probably spy on your own from our photos, I returned to the kitchen with no less than six thousand pounds of green stuff.

We had lots of red leaf lettuce, baby spinach, TONS of broccoli, a mixture of snow and sugar snap peas, rainbow chard, baby spinach, a few green peppers (wow, I know.), a few green tomatoes (tiny little guys whose plants died), and even a little zucchini! Okay, I guess not EVERYTHING was green...

Some of the things I left in the garden, feeling mildly safe they would survive any sort of arctic blast the next week or so could throw at them were: parsley bushes, green and purple cabbages, baby carrots (not so sure how those are gonna go...), radishes, potatoes, and onions.

Since we have never grown onions or potatoes previously, and I wanted to check the growth rate of each, I picked a couple sample plants from the earth and promptly jumped up and down with happiness at what I found!

Now to figure out how to properly store and save these veggies when we finally do choose to harvest them all....

In another photo above, you can see some of the seeds I have collected in the last couple of days. The top container is coriander seed, which can be used as a cooking spice, and comes from a flowered cilantro plant. yum-OH! The second container holds just a few spinach seeds....the rest seem to be drying rather slowly and probably wont be ready for picking off the bolted spinach plants for at least another couple of weeks.

Here's another fun part of finishing off a veggie harvest....

The goats LOVE LOVE LOVE the leftover plants!

Here's a quick look(from start to finish this took all of about 20 seconds for them to devour) at a broccoli plant demolition.

Enjoy and watch your fingers.

Speaking of the goats, how is that going?

Great, thank you.

No seriously, all skitzophrenia aside, they have really come around this summer. There is no lack of pocket nibbling, head butting, or furniture climbing around these parts. They are a trip!
Stay tuned for November, when we venture into the world of goat breeding.
Also in top news, the remaining 13 meat birds will meet their demise, and the inside of our new freezer (!!!!!!!) this weekend.

Hugs and dog hair, The Coyles