Friday, November 4, 2011

October 2011 - Harvest Tally (Green Eggs and no Ham)

This marks the nineth month of our mini-farm adventure and fall truely has arrived with temps in the low 40's here on the Suburban Homestead in Southern California. Roberto has been starting to research * again * for a fireplace insert to heat the home in a more sustainable way and I am hoping for an insert that can be used to bake bread in or at least heat water on top. Woolen gear (hats, sweaters, mittens and socks) is all the rave in our house right now and I have been knitting and crocheting endless hours to make sure everyone is warm.

With the summer crops rotating out and the new crops not yet in place (note to myself: planning for bumper crops for next spring and fall!), October 2011 was not such a great month for us harvesting-wise.

The chickens are well over half a year old but had not started laying and considering the temps, I started to write off that any of our Easter Eggers will lay an egg before next spring, after molt. But then on the last day of October, guess what they did: THEY EACH LAID AN EGG.

Now, the name Easter Eggers was not given to this breed in vain; they do lay eggs in blue, green and pink. However, the color of the eggs won't change. Once a hen lays blue (or green or pink) eggs, she will do so for as long as she lays. Well, I am proud to announce, that we are having GREEN EGGS ... and no ham.

My bees filled up their three supers perfectly but I decided - since this is our first year - to let them have it all and see what is left to be harvested in spring, if any.

We still have a bunch of green tomatoes on the vines, which I am sure won't all come to red and juicy maturity, so I am already searching for green tomato recipes. Probably within the next few days, I will harvest them all. Green or not. Let the window sill do its juicy.

However, October was a super busy month for us: I have been preparing some of the beds for the next season by pulling the old and dead plants out, placing old cardboard over the beds, emptying one of our compost piles and loading the goods onto those beds and then covering the beds with bark. I also rotated some of our perennials around to group them more according to their watering needs to ensure I do not kill someone by over- or underwatering their neighboring plant. Since I can only do this during dormancy state of each plant (which varies), I will keep doing this until next spring or even summer and this way slowly re-design the landscape somewhat.

We seeded a bunch of winter crops: salads, cabbages, beets, peas, carrots, garlic, brussel sprouts and brokkoli. Sadly, though, I had to notice that one day after planting about one hundred beet seedlings, there were no seedlings left; the bunnies must have gotten them all. Yes, all of them.

On the more happy side: The peas are looking great and I have noticed already some garlic sprouts. So, I am hopeful that we will be harvesting again some time soon. . .

There are still some zucchinis on my plants. However, since the temps are so low, I am planning on pulling these babies within the next days as well. They supplied us with wonderful produce all throughout summer.

As far as work on the house goes: We have been searching everywhere for another wall fountain for the backyard and a wrought iron mosaic table with chairs but were either disappointed by the price or the look of what we found. Inspired by some pictures from Parc Guell in Barcelona, designed by Antoni Gaudi, we have decided to design and build these items ourselves. Yes, like we do not have enough work yet. Stay tuned... it may get interesting.

Anywho, without further ado, here is the harvest tally for October 2011:

5 lbs Tomatoes
5 lbs Zucchini
4 lbs Eggplant
2 lbs Pomegranate
2 lbs Savoy cabbage
couple handful of Hibiscus flowers (which are dry by now and will be great in a tea ... ahh, cannot wait!)

A total of 18 lbs of produce and 56 duck and 2 chicken eggs. 

"Nature never says one thing and wisdom another." Decimus Junius Juvenalis

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