Saturday, October 31, 2009

Changing of the Leaves, Ghosts and Goblins, Cooler Temps and the Magical Crockpot

With the changing of the leaves comes Halloween, with Halloween comers cooler temperatures, and with cooler temperatures come Crockpot time. What a wonderful tool the crockpot is! You can make stews, chilis, soups, roasts, gamehens, and even taco meat. We've yet to fully utilize ours by cooking desserts and other items. However each fall and winter the crockpot gets used and abused. Many roasts, stews, chilis and soups get prepared in it. At least 2 times a week which equates to 4 meals. This week we had a beef roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions on monday. I pulled out the roast and vegetables when it reached the correct doneness, drained the juices to make gravy, sliced half the roast then put the balance of the roast back in with some homemade salsa for a few more hours to have taco meat for tuesday. Thursday was a pork roast with all the trimmings for dinner with half the roast returning the next afternoon with some barbeque sauce for bbq pork sandwich meat. Today was a clam chowder. Many soups etc. will be in the future but maybe not until it cools off a bit more. This coming week looks like a good chance to fire up the grill some more.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Favorite Season of the Year

Yesterday marked the first day of my favorite season of the year. True I love summer vegetable season and am really syarting to enjoy the fall vegetable season, there is nothing that , for me anyways, compares to waterfowl (duck and goose) season. The crisp fall mornings, the sights, sounds, and smells of the marsh. The sound of the wings as they fly over, and the different calls of different species. The anticipation of the dog as he awaits each retrieve. The precision marking and work performed by the dog. The smiles on a childs face as he learns to enjoy watching nature and enjoying her bounty. I'm in heaven now and it will only get better as the temperatures drop and the weather gets nastier.

A friend and his son on Saturday.

phil and ben

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Garden Survives the Storm

The garden came through the storm fairly well. A few potato plants suffered broken branches from the downpour. The broccolli etc was sitting in a pond until the water soaked and some plants along the garage drip line were beat down for a couple of days. All in all not too much damage. All is doing well but the cooler nights are starting to show wear on the tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. Only about half of the Sugar Snap Peas germinated so I'll need to do a second planting. My lettuce is finally really growing and I enjoyed a completely homegrown salad tonight along with some wild boar steaks.Here's a few pics of the garden.
tomatoes 10/8

Here's some of the compost bins I am trying to give away. I still have the box of MiracleGro for Tomatoes as well.

Projects, Storms, Etc.

I've been wanting to add a post to the blog for quite awhile but with the misplacement of the charging cord for "our" camera my wife has had "my" camera to use for her college class. That coupled with several "need to do " projects has kept me from accompishing a post. I actually took the attached pictures over a week ago when I was able to steal my camera back for a few hours. I've been really busy on several different projects. With duck season right around the corner I had a need to install insect screening in all the trailer vents so I would not arrive at the refuge to find 30-50 of the little devils inside the trailer in darkness.
trailer wasp screen
After reading Fred's get ready for the storm blog I realized I should finally put in the French Drain I have put off for 7 years. I bought all the materials and installed it in two days. It is an engineering marvel of overkill. It is a French drain covered in a drain sock with several Ts and drain grates. There are way more grates than what is rally needed but if I never have to bail water from my basement again it will be money well spent.

I also followed some of Fred's remommendations and installed extensions on my downspouts as well as cleaning and repairing all the gutters. I also removed the canvas top off the patio cover and got the fire place out. I should be out drinking a Pliny the Elder and enjoying a nice warming fire but I felt the need to post an entry.
ds ext

The last of the big house projects until spring is well underway as my son called in some favors his friends owed him and stripped the 5 layers of wallpaper off the hallway. I'm currently repairing cracks and getting it ready to texture.

Hopefully I can get in a major garden project over the next two weeks. I want to add 3-4 more raised planter boxes along the fence.
These guys are waiting on a box of their own.