Harvesting cabbage

So you’ve harvested a few heads of cabbage from your garden before they split and you pull up the plants and dispose of them, right?  No, wait.  If you leave the plants in the garden, in a few weeks you’ll have more cabbage!


They won’t be as big, of course but just as good.  You should get 3 or 4 soft ball-sized cabbages per plant, plus more smaller ones.  You can do the same thing with broccoli.  The extra spears will have more flavour than the original head.  Maybe there’s been a frost or two and you’re thinking it’s time to put the garden to bed for the winter, now you have fresh cabbage!  A last hurrah from the vegetable garden. 🙂

More winter prep

It’s been an exceptionally nice October 31st but there’s still so much to do before snow comes.  Some years we’ve had a snowstorm on this day! Today I worked on cleaning out the goats. (finally!)  I think it got overlooked last year because Oy! what a  job it was!  I thought I’d be working until sunset but it really wasn’t that bad, only a couple hours.  My back is feeling it, though ~ 12 wheelbarrows full!  But it’s looking good.  The goats are acting like their salt block is new…??  It’s always been there.  I moved it outside while I worked and they were all licking it.  They also kept sneaking out of the gate.  Too many times I was shooing them back in, I had to get my son to man the gate for me.  Such trouble-makers they are! 😉

I’m feeling good… this is the kind of work that is very satisfying for me. There’s a couple more things I want to do but I know the goats will be able to bed down and be warm.

Winter preparations

It’s been a very busy week, since we got snow.  Thankfully it all melted and it bought us more time to get ready for when the ‘real’ snow comes and stays for the winter.

~There’s firewood to be split.  We have some but not enough for the winter.  It’s been cold enough for a fire in the woodstove everyday.  We are waiting on a large delivery, 7 cords more.  The logs will be 8 foot lengths so they’ll need to be cut then split.

~We got the snow fence up.  Not really necessary but so great to have.  It helps keep the snow from drifting on the driveway. 

~I cleaned out the chickens and dumped the manure on the garden.  This will be the last time they are cleaned before winter.  They will be shut in for several months once it’s cold enough, the next time they are cleaned as thoroughly will be in the spring.  I add fresh straw throughout the winter.

~I’m still working on cleaning out the goats.  I did some but it’s a big job.  I’ll get it done though!

~Other years I’d also be putting up the storm windows on the house.  We’ve been slowly replacing the windows so this year it is so nice not to be putting up those old storm windows!

Fall on the farm

It looks and feels like fall now.  That came upon us really fast!  Unseasonably warm weather for the month of September then BAM autumn hits.  It’s been so cold and windy, I’m sure winter isn’t far behind.

The garden has been put to bed for the winter.  I got everything pulled up, and rototilled. I spread compost and manure on it but haven’t been able to work it up again.  I’m hopeful that we’ll get a chance before snow comes.

The leaves are all turning!  Mostly yellows but a few reds and still some green.  In about a week’s time it will all be gone and on the ground.  The fall colours don’t last long around here. 😦

The geese are flying overhead daily and the other birds are flocking, a sure sign of fall.  There was a flock of robins in the yard today.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a flock of robins before.

This weekend is Thanksgiving.  We’re having the moms here on Sunday for turkey dinner, our turkey. Pumpkin pie, squash and carrots from the garden.

Autumn weekend

It’s been a busy weekend with autumn activities.  I picked all my pumpkins.  Can you guess how many I got from just 1 plant?? Okay, well the picture kinda gives it away. I’ll save you trying to count them and tell you – I got 66 pumpkins from 1 plant!!  We moved them into the basement and they’ll continue to ripen there.  You can see the pumpkin vine in the background, it was hit by a frost last week. We might be like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book – The Long Winter, except instead of potatoes, we’ll be eating pumpkin. 😉  I’ll share any good recipes I find.  At least they are the smaller ‘pie’ pumpkins.

We finally burned the piles of weeds in the chicken yard.  There were moments when that was a bit scary!  But we were standing by with the garden hose.  The chickens seemed unphased by the fact that there was fire so close to them.

Hubby cleaned the chimney on the house.  It’s been cool enough to start a fire in the woodstove (our only source of heat for the house).  He started a fire last night just to smoke us out! LOL!  So that was an important task today.

We’ve also been cleaning up the mess from tearing down the shop.  Hubby has made a trip to the dump to empty the trailer.  There will be a few more trips yet.  Some of the garbage wood we plan to burn.

The smell of smoke, the sound of Canada geese flying overhead, the crispness in the air, and all the activities this weekend,  it definitely feels like autumn.

First frost

We had our first frost last night.  It came so suddenly! Two days ago it was 27C.  This is when we usually experience a frost but September was so warm it felt like summer was going to go on and on.  Sunday the weather took a sudden turn to ‘seasonal norms’ and the rest of this week is looking the same.  Now I expect the leaves will be turning soon.  Of course a forecast of frost sends me out to my garden to save anything growing above ground.  garden_bountyThis is picture shows the result.  I can pace myself with canning as long as the veggies are in the garden, now I have to take care of them all right away.  It’s not too bad, really.  First the reddest tomatoes and the cucumbers, while the green tomatoes ripen.  I can make a few quarts of dill pickles and I will can most of the tomatoes.  The peppers didn’t do very well because most of the summer was too cool and they like heat, but I think I have enough to make some salsa.  Also pictured is more green beans and a small head of cabbage.  What you don’t see is me contending with all the fruitflies. ugh.  I wasn’t sure if the butternut squash could tolerate a frost?  So I picked them just in case.  It was the first time I grew them, and I’m really looking forward to having them! Yum!