Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.
At times I consider whether I should just rename my blog Olio as most posts fly all over the place. It is only mid morning on a day that the weather prognosticators said would be mostly sunny and dry, but instead it is thickly overcast and too humid again to paint or stain. The grass too wet with dew to mow. This isn’t to say that the morning has been idle, no instead a load of laundry has been folded, Grand #1’s bed remade from his weekend visit; another load of laundry washed and currently drying; the chicken coop refreshed with a turn of the old hay and an addition of new hay; the meaties chicken tractor given a good layer of hay in the bottom as it is currently more or less permanently set at the end of the 6 foot wide run to contain the 5 week old chickies and it was beginning to not smell so pleasant. Another huge bucket of tomatoes have been harvested, though I haven’t begun to process them yet, as I can’t decide what this batch will become, probably just plain diced tomatoes. Just in the last couple of days, the tomato vines have begun to fade.
There are still plenty of tomatoes to harvest, but this is a signal of the end of the summer growing season. This morning, the spent cucumber vines were pulled and tossed to the chickens to peck at the last few cukes and the bugs on the vines. Each year I begin the season faithfully pinching suckers from the tomato plants and trying to contain the branches within the cages and by this time each year, the branches have fallen over and through the cages and the plants look pitiful. Perhaps next year I will use strong stakes instead of cages and tie the plants up as they grow taller, being more faithful about leaving only one main stem. Next year, they will have the rich soil of the compost bins as we remove the wood from them this winter to expand the garden and create a more reasonably sized compost bin in a new location. So much of the stuff that used to go into the compost, now goes to the chickens and their bedding becomes the compost, so having the bin near the coop door on the edge of the garden would make more sense. That area is where I planted the Buttercup squash, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes this year and between them and my weeding efforts, the bin have remained fairly weed free this summer.
The squash have spread over the woodpile, over to the vegetable garden, into the chicken run and up the hill past the hay bales and out of the electric fence. Many of the huge leaves have burn marks across them and cause the electric fence to pop as they touch it. Yesterday as I mowed, with the fence off, I snapped off the leaves touching the fence. I know that one day soon, I will begin to see those vines fading like the tomato vines. The peppers are loving the cooler weather and are blooming and producing new peppers daily. The summer squash are mostly done. It is now a time for greens and a few radishes and turnips.
As I sit here waiting for the inspiration to can or the grass to dry for mowing, I am enjoying one of the only two magazines to which I subscribe. The magazine is Taproot, no advertising, full of wonderful art, recipes, articles about back to a simpler time of producing your own food, making your own clothes, growing your own animals and knowing from where your goods come. If you haven’t ever seen an issue, you should seek one out.
Each issue has a theme and each is wonderful to savor each word and save for future reference.
Lovin’ life on our mountain farm.