Saturday, September 21, 2013

Digging Sweet Potatoes

Because of the early torrential rains and all of the washing in the new garden we were not sure there would be any sweet potatoes to harvest. The boys had planted 50 plants but I knew at least half had been swept away. Today we dug and were very surprised (pleasantly so!) with the harvest. About 2 bushels!
The first step in harvesting sweet potatoes is to spread them out in a dry spot for a week or so to allow the cuts and abrasions to heal. After that they can be put in baskets and moved to a basement or storage area to cure for another 6 weeks or so. This allows the potatoes to sweeten. Fresh potatoes can be used but they are not yet sweet and extra sugar would need to be added to any recipe calling for them. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Chicken Rescue

It had been a long busy day. Doug and I were taking a few moments to relax on the patio. I keep hearing a baby chicken peeping. I finally decided that it was a distress peep and went to check. Sure enough Mama Bird was running from her brood of babies, to a drain pipe, back to babies. A chick had proceeded to fall into the pipe. I stuck my arm in to try and get it but the pipe was way too deep.
Doug was not thrilled he was going to have to lend a hand in the daring rescue......
But he did. First one section was removed, then another and finally another. Almost 3 feet had to be dug up. Finally baby was rescued and is now happily back with Mama Bird!
Though happy baby is fine, Doug was muttering about it was going to be much harder to repair the pipe than digging it up. Of course, it will!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Fall is Coming!

It had been a busy couple of weeks here on the homestead.
The fall hay finally went down,  619 bales! Because of all the rain this year, the pastures have stayed lush and green and not a lot of hay has been fed so we capped off the barns and the rest was sold.

The fall garden finally went in. Cabbage, broccoli, collard plants that my sister started in the greenhouse were planted. We sowed kale, spinach, beets and rutabaga from seed. I still need to get radishes, carrots, lettuce and garlic in the ground. The garlic has been ordered but has yet to ship.

There was a dog crisis over Labor day weekend. I found one of the bird dogs unable to stand. We spent 5 hours at the emergency vet. Two days later and not much improvement, I finally got him to our regular vet. She is such a miracle worker. Lots of fluids and treating him for numerous issues, he has become his old self again. It was touch and go for a few days and though we really don't know which treatment was the one to get him back on his feet, I'll take it!

Finally this past weekend, Doug and I snuck away for 30 hours to a little B&B a couple of hours away. We spent hours hiking and enjoying Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock,11 miles total!
A pic of the cabin and of the view from our sidewalk..