September 1st Sky

Business as Usual

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To be honest, there’s not a lot of news to report. We’ve simply been busy with several projects around the homestead.

The harvest is coming in strong and there’s a LOT to preserve.

We’ve been freeze-drying as much as possible. It’s easier and quicker than canning. You just pop the food into the freeze-dryer, press a few buttons, and in 24ish hours it’s done! The finished product is stored in mylar bags for up to 25 years or in an airtight container or jar. Depending on what you freeze-dried and your preference you can eat it plain or rehydrate it. We love to eat the fruit plain and we’ve rehydrated a couple of things like meat or soup to try it.

We harvested the rest of the cucumbers and plan to make dill relish once we can find a recipe. The last of the carrots will be sliced blanched and frozen. The squash will be stored on a shelf in the pantry. Or sliced and frozen for use in breads, muffins, soup, or a side dish. The tomatoes will go through the Roma Saucer to removed the seeds and skin and then placed in the freeze-dryer making tomato powder that we’ll use in pasta, soup, stews, etc. We might even make a batch of Salsa…

I’ve especially enjoyed slicing tomato or two seasoning it with some garlic, onion, parsley, sea salt, basil, and oregano. Covering them with a sprinkling of cheese and placing them under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is all melty! Yum!

In addition to harvesting and presevering there are several outdoor projects in the works as well!

Whoever originally fenced in our yard did so very oddly. A good portion of our 3/4 acre is only accessible through the front yard. Last weekend our neighbor decided to put a fence around his property. We helped him install it and built off of it. Adding a few poles to a small section of the front yard so we can keep the animals contained to our property while also letting them run! By doing this our entire yard will be within ONE fence! It’ll be fun to be able to see our entire yard and let the dogs run! 3/4 of an acre has never felt so big!

We’ve wanted to take our deck down for years as well. It’s a slipping hazard especially when it’s wet and is also awkwardly placed off the sunroom giving us a better view of the neighbor’s yard than our own. The bulk of the deck has already been cut and moved near the firepit and the wood for the steps is already stained. We just have to take the rest of the deck down and put the new stairs up.

This November will mark 5 years that we’ve lived in this house and each year that we’ve lived here we’ve moved the firewood to a different location around the yard.

We *FINALLY* think we’ve found the perfect place! *HAPPY DANCE*!

Since we’re taking the deck down we’ve gained an extra few feet of space near the house. So we’re waterproofing a few crates Dad brings home from work and placing the wood scraps near the house since we burn those more often. Directly across from the back door is our fence. Once we relocate the Goji Berry bushes closer to the chicken coop (apparently these are really good for you, but they taste NASTY, they’re really bitter and have a strong aftertaste) then we’ll move several of the wood stackers near the fence and keep the bulk of the burnable wood there! (:

I like this plan for several reasons! The wood is MUCH closer to the house, It’s easier to get to once it starts snowing, and there’s no more long treks to the back of the property to get wood when it’s below freezing outside so we’ll be able to keep the wheelbarrow out of the sunroom!

September has officially arrived and is starting out with a bang! The temperatures are already cooler (the forecasted highs for the next few days are below 80°) and the humidity is already less oppressive! This weekend we plan to work on and finish a few of the projects that I’ve talked about above, go apple picking at the local fruit farm up the street, and attend and an antique firetruck show! This month is shaping up to be a busy one but I’m actually excited about the adventures to come!

Oh! I almost forgot to mention trying a few recipes from our new cookbook! Including a crockpot apple butter recipe! YUM!!!

Until next time,

Bailey Sue