Saturday, August 27, 2011

Junk Removal Take... 10?

Six Penny Pond, besides being dry, has been a source of angst for its status as a rat- and skunk- infested junk pile.  There have been several attempts to remedy this.

First, the men took a DYI approach.  That was a little too exciting for everyone involved.

We've done a little picking up of small junk, but it doesn't really make a dent when there's an entire (burnt-out) mobile home to clean up.  It gives a new meaning to the phrase "trailer trash."

James advertised on craigslist for scrappers.  They came, they saw, they left... without the junk.  Apparently, they couldn't be bothered with rusty barbed wire (not that I blame them, but, come'on, you're scrappers!).

James finally received another call.  He directed the scrappers to the land, but they were unfamiliar with the area and plagued him all day with phone calls.  "Where is it?"

James made arrangements to meet this scrappers and lead them to the land.  Fifteen minutes after their agreed-upon meeting time, James was home.  The scrapper had a heart attack.  Good thing he did that BEFORE they drove all the way to the land!

Finally, today, James was able to lead them out.  Two (we think) loads later, we still have plenty-o-junk, but not of interest to a scrapper.

At least progress is being made.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peach Salsa

Tuesday was a fabulous day, full of cooler-than-expected weather, easier-than-expected canning, and the company of good friends.

The forecast called for a high of 94, but I'm fairly certain it didn't reach more than 80 outside, cloudy, a little rain.  Perfect for canning, as I had the door open to cool off the kitchen!

12 cups of peaches, prepped the night before

2 1/2 cups of onion, enough for two batches
All these were from our land!

After chopping 36 cups of peaches, 7 1/2 cups of onion, 6 bell peppers, 24 jalapenos, and the rest of our ingredients, Myle and I made 21 pints of peach salsa.  We seemed to run out of liquid, so a jar or two is in the fridge.  I'm still not sure what we did wrong.  If you know, please tell us!  Our ability to time our work better this time meant instead of spending 8-10 hours to make six batches, we only spent 3 1/2 hours!

the finished product
The six kids behaved marvelously, even Bear Cub Q, who is notoriously stuck to me like glue when other kids are around.  He did try to skip his nap, but we went for a drive to take care of that.  He's TOO YOUNG to go nap-free!

We had homemade tomato sauce with pasta and garlic bread for supper (a collaboration between James and I).  James makes great tomato sauce, and the tomatoes we grew!

This summer we haven't done as much canning as we hoped, but it felt good to stock the shelves with the salsa.  It's a great gift and perfect for opening a jar when we have unexpected guests.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Beautiful Day

The day began with gentle rain, just sprinkles really, and a beautifully cool air temperature.

We bought peaches straight off a truck from Colorado.  The Screamer already ate a whole one (she's not a great eater, so this is fabulous) and has been begging for more.

A visit to the land, which added only a few miles to our trip, was in order.  I cut open the survivor tomato we had brought home, but the thing was SEEDLESS.  Seedless, I tell you!  Why does it have to be complicated.
The mother plant is grasshopper-mauled, so there were virtually no leaves left.  Of the leaves remaining, most were suckers hidden in the heart of the plant.  We pulled off three suckers to try to root them and grow three new plants.  Also, we picked the last remaining (ripe) tomato in the hopes that it will not follow its sibling and be seedless.
Walking in the cool weather felt glorious.  We visited our neighbor to the south and discussed weather, weeds (we have too many growing in our erstwhile potato patch), old age (his, not ours!), and watched another neighbor back into his mailbox.

Onwards to the work of the day, making pickles with Myle!  She had cut enough pickles for 5 batches of pickles.  We made two, and she was working on more when we left.  Canning is incredibly easier this year, now that we have a better concept of timing and how to prep for the actual canning.

The Assistant tangled with a bike and lost, leaving a bloody trail at Second Hand Ranch, and is now sporting a fat lip, bloody nose, and bum knee.  We met Chocolate Black, a miniscule mouser.

Next week, we should have peach salsa coming out our ears!  I anticipate the challenge with relish.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Farming Doesn't Wait for Cool Weather

Neither do visiting friends.

Without further ado, our final potato harvest for 2011, Rose Finn Apples.  Due to several factors, including later planting and being planted in a new place, the harvest was meager compared to our previous bounty.  They still look like fun!


 Shooting for great and small...

 And the survivor tomato survives...

Our neighbor asked us where we'd been, and James answered, "It's been too hot for a once a week farmer."  But we've been back.

I think the heat is even frying the poison ivy.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.