Friday, September 3, 2010

That Was the Week that Was

This past week has been a potpourri of things that make life what it (wonderfully) is, here JOTOLR.  The turkey turnout has occupied much of our time, as we trained them--yes, they learn!--to make a complete circuit of our four-acre enclosure (by installing a large complement of woven electric fencing), and not live on our porch!  They have been a novelty and we've actually enjoyed the experience of knowing these partly wild, mostly tame birds.  Their experience, too, has grown.  They survived a hawk attack on Wednesday by diving into the remaining stalks of corn!  We heard the big gobbler sound off to his flock, and we both ran to help him as MM saw a swirl of wings making toward the woods.  An opportunistic raptor had paid us a call.

For me, the week has been a tomato week--salsa, chutney, tomatoes and more tomatoes..
all, now, in jars and waiting for a snowstorm where it will all warm us to the core!  Of course, I dream!  The temperature's forecast to be in the low 90's AGAIN today!

Ruta asked me to show a view of our's hard to show hundreds of jars, but a partial view of our basement shows a few jars of the produce from many hours of work...

And the Morning Glory is just about to give over and re-seed itself for next year, but I still cannot resist it!

And, finally...the end of the week!
Where did it go?!
Thank you so much for your company!  You are all a treasure!  I can't begin to describe how you've enriched my life!  That's it until Monday!  See you then!


  1. That is an impressive sight. It must be very satisfying to look on your garden's bounty and to know that here is your food for the next year.

  2. Your basement shelves are a thing of beauty. I've mostly been putting stuff in the freezer this year but you're inspiring me...

  3. Ruta,
    It definitely is satisfying. I can't think of a better word. All summer long--since May, actually--we've worked for ourselves growing what we know we'll need/want for the coming year. Not everyone is as fortunate as we are to have the freedom and the situation to be able to do that. OTOH, many who do have similar circumstances, believe it's "too much work." And, let's be honest: it IS a lot of work. It's a good kind of "work" that keeps us moving physically, working outside daily, and ending each day with a "good" kind of "tired." We know where our food comes from, we have the freedom to choose knowledgably what we eat, we are the employer, the employee, and the consumer all balled into one! Of course, altho' we save some of our seed for planting next year, we must not forget to be grateful to the seed companies for their care and knowledge, as well. It's a partnership to be sure--between Mother Nature, a few commercial entities that help us produce...and healthy bodies that let us keep this enterprise going!


    If I inspire you 1/10 as much as you inspire me....I would be humbled. As for why we pressure-can rather than freeze...or should I say can MORE than we's a power issue. The power goes off sometimes. While we've never lost any food because of power outage, we've come close. I do freeze berries, some peaches, snow peas...things in small lots, that if we were to lose them, we would be sorry, but not terribly inconvenienced. We have a propane refrigerator, too, with a small freezer compartment, so that keeps my butter or could be used for other things, should we lose power. We have two other freezers, one a small upright, the other a chest type. Those house the chickens (we butchered 26 last year and still have chicken in the freezer to consume before we get more chicks!) and a bit of homegrown pork sausage, and venison. If the power goes off, these would be packed tightly in boxes and overlaid with ice, which, during winter, it's usually cold, so the contents of the box should make it all right. Those are the only meats we consume. When we re-stock the pond, with smallmouths and crappie, we'll add homegrown fish to our diets!

    We buy a little oatmeal, some sugar, coffee, spices...but it's been over fifteen years since we've consumed any beef; and it's similarly a long time since we've purchased any meat at all. The more we hear about food safety issues the more thankful we are for what we are able to do out here JOTOLR! Of course we have our own eggs, our own milk products, our own...turkeys! And life is just a lot of fun!


  4. Elora -- As I write this on Saturday a very cool breeze floats about my room. When I step outside I can almost put on a sweatshirt. Yesterday was HOT. Suddenly we have cool -- not since the end of May has it been such a delightful day. Unfortunately, I know the prediction is for more hot weather. Maybe by Christmas we can finally say the weather will now be cool for a few months.

    You are a champion canner. I was totally impressed by your cache of "put up" jars for winter.

    Hope this cool is in your area also. -- barbara

  5. Elora -- adding a little bit more to my previous comment -- your lifestyle on your farm is to be admired. It takes a lot of hard work to do what you are doing but the rewards you spell out are great.

    I don't know if you have read THIS ORGANIC LIFE by Joan Dye Gussow. She also has a new book titled Growing Older: A Chronicle of Death, Life and Vegetables. Perhaps you are familiar with her? If not I highly recommend her. Her beliefs are so similar to yours. -- barbara

  6. Barbara,

    You are soooo right about the (FINALLY!) cool inflow! Not going to last, but sure does give us a taste of what's to come! Ahhhh! And the breeze was just right for winnowing the beans!

    Thanks much for your compliment re: "put-up" stuff! Love you, girl!

    And, I had not encountered Joan Dye Gussow and will definitely have a read of her work! Thanks much for the suggestion!!

    Loved your Labor Day post over at Folkways Notebook! (