Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer Winding Down

There was a good sized flock of canary finches at the top of the hill today. I was very happy to see them in larger numbers than in year's past.

The Jimson weed is blooming and wild turkeys have been strolling through the fields for about two weeks.

Today it was just around seventy degrees all day long, so very pleasant to sit outside in between winemaking sessions.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Purple and Gold

My kitchen is full of Concord grapes and small yellow pear tomatoes. I'm making wine. The carboy of peach wine is chugging along. Today, I started the grape wine, while some apple is fermenting nicely. I fully intend to try making yellow tomato wine, so cut up about a gallon to freeze while I finish the grape.

You can probably imagine how good the kitchen smells.

The Cherokee Purple tomatoes I grew from seed and put in the garden in June are now ripening. They are intensely purple-red and meaty inside. 'Tasty, too.

The grapes were a gift from friends. They are so ripe that I can't let them sit in the cooler too long or they'll go moldy. I hope to finish processing them tomorrow. We took over a peach pound cake as a thank you gift and sat and talked for a while after picking.

Rain has come and greened up the fields and lawns. It looks like we'll get another cutting of hay, thank goodness.

The big barn is getting all dug out and cleaned. Tomorrow promises rain and much cooler temperatures. At last.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Long Dry Spell

I hate to seem obsessed with the hot, dry weather -- but I am! It creates a tension just below the surface of my consciousness that is irritating. During the few one-time only rains that we've had these past two months I could feel that tension melt away. But as the dry days build and build, I feel the tension building as well.

In other parts of the country and the world, people are suffering from too much rain.

Ah, well, perhaps Mother Nature is displeased with some of the folly of mankind messing with oil in oceans or genetic engineering...

We picked the peach trees to thwart the crows, the groundhog, and the deer, all of which were snacking on the fruit and the leaves. I guess it's hard to find a square meal in the dry fields.

My kitchen looks like a scene from The Attack of the Killer Peaches. I've made peach jam, peach chutney, and fresh peach poundcakes. I think I should make some more small cakes and freeze them for winter. Something tells me that peach wine will substitute for the blackberry wine which will not materialize this year. Apples are next. It's a good thing I held off planting tomatoes. They are just starting to ripen. There are lots of heritage yellow pear which might even make some good, interesting wine.

The workers are almost finished extending the rooflines of our big barn. It will be great to have shelter from RAIN (when it finally comes) and snow where I park my UTV. There is nice shade for the cows when they are in that pasture and a place to put large round bales for them without worrying about it getting WET.

So, I better get down there and do the chores before the heat kicks in. The guy on the radio seems to be taking delight in forecasting temperatures "near 100 degrees" for today.