In which it's never too warm to plan ahead for winter: fuel and food

It doesn't get really hot in the Swampland very often.

Tim called one morning and said, "We're taking down a bunch of alder trees
in Rachel's pasture.  Come  help buck the logs and we'll dump a load at your place."  
So, we did.

But even when the mercury tops 90 degrees, there's work to be done.  

Many hands, light work

Heat and humidity are hard on Swamplanders.  We work in shifts, taking breaks in the shade with bottles of ice water.

When Lisa came to Haiku Farm, she had no muscles.
Now she has muscles AND skills!
We're not afraid to resort to technology, either.

A rented splitter is loud, but much less strenuous

The machine doesn't do all the work--people still have to do the "pit pony" work

Monica and I are remarkably good pit ponies

of hauling split logs and stacking them in the woodshed to dry.

About three cords are split and stacked so far.

Stick the landing when the pile of wood is finally gone!

Of course, we had help.


Floofs.  It's a billion degrees, and they still sit on each other.

After dark, when the thermostat is no longer in the red zone, it's time to cope with the food situation.

The cucumber crop was enormous 

This year, Jim made 12 pints of sweet relish, 12 pints of savory bread-and-butter pickles with tumeric, and 13 quarts of special garlic dill pickles.

I completely admire Jim's inability to follow a recipe.
He read somewhere that grape leaves
can help the pickles stay crisp, and we have plenty of
grape vines in the backyard, so we threw a leaf in each jar.

We also threw in slivered red peppers

We grew a little bit of dill this year--next year, I'll plant more.

It's silly that I've never grown garlic--our town used to host an enormous
Garlic Festival, so I know it grows here.  Sigh.  Next year.

Everything is pretty going into the jar

Jim is the one who is careful about details, so he attends to
the actual "canning" part

Adding the hot brine and spices
Dogs are not allowed in the kitchen.

"There is no dog in the kitchen" 

Our garlic dill pickles will need to sit in the brine on a cool dark shelf until the end of October.

I love hearing the lids go plink!
Meanwhile, there are still blackberries ready to eat,

View from the kitchen window:
Fiddle eats the blackberries that the goats can't reach.

and pumpkins are on the way.

Summer is good. The Farm is good.  Harvest is good.  Our friends are good.

Mostly, it's just all GOOD.


  1. I believe it's best to plant garlic in the winter in the PNW. At least that's what a master gardener told me. First year didn't plant enough but now I've got lots, and family love the extra.

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this post as usual!


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