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!
|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|
|"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!|
|View from the kitchen window: |
Fiddle eats the blackberries that the goats can't reach.
Summer is good. The Farm is good. Harvest is good. Our friends are good.
Mostly, it's just all GOOD.