Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Slowing Down . . . A Little

The heat and humidity have finally given up for the season.  Well, at least the humidity is in a different form.  We've had intermittent rains on and off for several days frequently dropping between 1/2" and 1-1/2" on our area.  But that's okay because we needed the moisture.  Farmer's Almanac says our region should expect a colder and snowier winter than usual so maybe this rain is the start of the more precipitation part of that prediction.

The days now have a different feel to them than they had had all summer.  Almost as if they're moving at a slower pace.  Or maybe it's just me that's moving slower.

We still have the majority of our root crops int he garden.  Putting off harvesting them as long as we can is necessary as we need to wait until our root cellar is cold enough before filling it.  We have a fan that pulls cooler night time air into the cellar to help with the cooling, but for that to be efficient we have to wait until might time temps sink down into the 40s.  And we're not there yet.


I did pull all of the onions from their beds yesterday and lay them out on the ping pong table set up in the garage to start the curing process.  I'm happy to see they're all larger than normal in size.  I'm not fond of peeling and chopping four little onions when one big one will do the trick.

Because of the on and off rain today, I concentrated on catching up on desk work which included some correspondence and bill paying . . . one fun to do, the other not so much.

In between showers I dashed out and picked some green peppers to chop and store in the freezer for use in chili, soups, casseroles, pizzas, etc. this winter.  I don't blanch them before freezing . . . just flash freeze the pieces on cookie sheets, then pop the frozen chunks into a freezer bag.  The pieces stay fairly well separated, and it's easy to take out just the amount I need. 


The pepper plants are still producing gorgeous peppers as you can see by this whopper I harvested.  Unless we decide we want to be eating Stuffed Green Peppers three times a week this winter, I'd best not use any more of them for that purpose.  There are so many still on the plants I may call our local food co-op to see if they can use them.

I know some of you are not happy to see the sun rise later in the morning and set earlier at night, but it feels good to me.  I don't think I ever get enough sleep during high summer time as I seem to be strongly affected by natural light.  I wake in the morning at dawn and can't seem to quit "working" at night until it gets dark.  Now at this time of year, I'm starting to feel I can slow down a bit.  And I am ready, ready, ready!

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful peppers! I'm coping with a glut of jalapenoes-planning to make them into jelly today. It's delicious on a cracker with cream cheese. Love the shorter days, it's a sign of those wonderful cooler days to come.

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    1. Karren - Ohhhh, guess what I'm hungry for now?!

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  2. Your onion array almost made me cry. My harvest - if you can call it that - wouldn't have covered a quarter of your table. And they are puny to boot. I am with you - I am almost relieved that the days are getting shorter. When does the "slowing down" part kick in?

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    1. Susan - I would share this beautiful harvest of onions . . . if the U.S. Postal Service costs weren't so exorbitant!

      I do believe it's just me that is "slowing down!"

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  3. I am so like you in the light/sleep department!

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    1. Michelle - Just came in from late chores. Have you seen that moon tonight? If I wake in the middle of the night and want to read a bit, I won't have to turn on a light!

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    2. We're over an hour away from sundown here! But it's clear, so my turn's coming. I've been watching it wax; it's a doozy!

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  4. Your onions look great! Love the fact that you have a ping-pong table that holds them all. Mine are scattered all over - the browns are hanging in the garage and the reds are sitting outside (I'm constantly have to move them throughout the day). I spent almost the whole morning (7:00 am to 11:00 am) processing melons, cukes, zucchini and tomatoes. This afternoon it was moving dried madrone firewood into our new wood shed. Didn't even make a dent in it. Tomorrow it's canning 100-pounds of pears (with another 100-pounds waiting for us at the farm). Things have got to come to an end eventually. Weather has finally dropped out of the 3-digits but it was 90 degrees today. We're starting to feel like two chickens with their heads cut off. Still very, very busy here. Nice to know you're enjoying some cooler weather. Happy Day To You!

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    1. Bobbie - I'm hoping you have air conditioning in your house if you did all that preserving work in 90 degree weather. It would leave me in a puddle! What do you do with all those pears?

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    2. We eat the pears! After spending 12-hard hours in the hot, hot kitchen canning the 100-pounds of pears, we ended up with 53 quarts. We were so exhausted that we could barely clean up the mess - did the bear minimum and went to bed. I want at least 90-quarts of pears, so I'll go to the farm and pick up 50-pounds more and see what we get. I will NEVER-EVER can 100-pounds of anything in one day again. It's just too much for us two old fools.
      We go to bed exhausted and get up tired every single day since we moved in on March 16, 2015. We still have so much to do to this run-down, foreclosed property that we bought. The bright side is, we'll never be bored! Tee Hee!
      Weather was cooler today (around 89 degrees) but it felt like 100. Today we cut, split and moved about 4 cords of oak firewood to the new wood shed. It will need more air time to dry before we can stack it. We still have at least 10 cords to do. Hope the rain holds off for a few more days here so we can get this task completed.
      I think all of our onions are now cured enough to put away - Yeah! I'm tired of onions drying all over the place.
      Did someone mention Fall was coming? I, for one, will welcome Fall with open arms this year -- it's been a real doozy here!

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    3. We eat the pears! After spending 12-hard hours in the hot, hot kitchen canning the 100-pounds of pears, we ended up with 53 quarts. We were so exhausted that we could barely clean up the mess - did the bear minimum and went to bed. I want at least 90-quarts of pears, so I'll go to the farm and pick up 50-pounds more and see what we get. I will NEVER-EVER can 100-pounds of anything in one day again. It's just too much for us two old fools.
      We go to bed exhausted and get up tired every single day since we moved in on March 16, 2015. We still have so much to do to this run-down, foreclosed property that we bought. The bright side is, we'll never be bored! Tee Hee!
      Weather was cooler today (around 89 degrees) but it felt like 100. Today we cut, split and moved about 4 cords of oak firewood to the new wood shed. It will need more air time to dry before we can stack it. We still have at least 10 cords to do. Hope the rain holds off for a few more days here so we can get this task completed.
      I think all of our onions are now cured enough to put away - Yeah! I'm tired of onions drying all over the place.
      Did someone mention Fall was coming? I, for one, will welcome Fall with open arms this year -- it's been a real doozy here!

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    4. Oh, Bobbie, you're working way too hard! But I know exactly where you're coming from. So many things to do, so much that has to be done. Add the food necessity to everything else and sometimes we just have to keep going. What a fantastic job you're doing!

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  5. I always look forward to the earlier sunset....but I sure don't like my dark mornings!

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    1. Sue - Must be my lazy side coming out, but the darker mornings make me feel I have more time to wake up and get organized before having to "hit it!" ;o}

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  6. I love your onions! Ours are the 4 to one size this year! what variety is that amazing pepper and will you let any ripen to make red pepper jelly? Just asking ;)

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    1. Fiona - Some years the onions are nice and big, some years not so much! For some reason, I usually have good luck growing bigger red onions than most folks can. Why? I dunno!

      That pepper is a California Wonder, my old standby, although I also grew three other varieties this year, too. My problem up here near the tundra is that I have a hard time getting them to turn red before a frost hits. But I do know they have more nutrients when turned red so I always look for that. Some, this year, do have a tinge of orange/red at this time but not many of them. Have never made red pepper jelly, but I'm assuming you'd recommend it?

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  7. We had our first frost Tuesday night. Was mild because the ground is so warm yet. Everything is still growing, I think it's a bit weird for this time of year. Sure am tired of cukes and zucchini. :)

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    1. odiie - A first frost already? Oh, no!

      Tired of your cukes and zucchini? Yank those plants out! 'Tis time. (Says she who let's plants wither and die in the garden as they're putting their last, brave, dying effort into producing the very last fruit.)

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  8. Beautiful onion harvest. I freeze large peppers the same way. the smaller ones, I just wash dry and put in large bags. Take one or two out a a time to use.

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    1. Glenda - The onions are drying nicely . . . despite the rainy weather we've been having. I'm glad I got them out of the ground when I did.

      I have as many peppers as I'll use this winter already in the freezer and I just had to stake up a couple of the plants because they were so top-heavy with more peppers. We definitely had a good pepper year!

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  9. Just like Mother Earth, you are preparing for a long winter's sleep? :) Actually my summer fling is over and I'm enjoying the cooler weather myself, I LOVE autumn! I get a little sad during season changes, but now I'm looking forward to root veggie stews, slow-cooker apple cider, Thanksgiving dinner (ours is in October) and then what I'm going to carve on the pumpkin this year! That pepper is outrageous...but you know what I noticed first? Your measuring cup says 1/2 pint on it. Ours have the cups, oz, ml and liters.

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    1. Rain - I'll be satisfied with a long winter's time in my quilt room!

      I made what I consider a real meal tonight (seems like it's been a long time) . . . potatoes with gravy, meat loaf and a green salad. Lovely autumn weather makes me want to cook again!

      Even here in the States, our measuring cups will be labeled in different ways. They gotta keep us guessing, I suppose.

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  10. Our onions didn't do so well. The lack of rain, and watering myself wasn't good enough. I will have to stock up with the Farmer's Market. My pepper plants are just now getting larger peppers (thanks to a recent all-day rain).

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