Ending October

It’s been a busy one.
Canning, butchering, more canning…
The tomato shelf looks amazing, with jars and jars of sauce.
All the white turkeys have gone to Freezer Camp.
And I put a bunch of them into jars too for quick meals.
Today I’m finishing up ducks and duck stock.
We’re now at our winter numbers for birds.
Have to say, I’m glad bird butchering is done, and we didn’t do anywhere near what we’ve done the past few years.
But tomorrow is the big butchering day.
Tomorrow we get our pig.
This year all we’re doing for “fancy” or retail cuts is loin chops, the tenderloin, bacon (because why have pig if no bacon??), and ground.
No roasts, no stew, just grind the rest.
And bone broth.
Because I love me some bone broth, so I’ll be making can canning much pork bone broth.
Might make sausages, but truthfully, we tend to eat a lot of crockpot meals with ground meats throughout the winter, so ground is going to be better for us. Especially with all the tomato sauce I have jarred. 😉

And the duck coop/greenhouse will be finished today.
Hubby and The Kid are putting the roof sheathing and metal on today, and then, the birds can move in…
Then it’s just a deep clean of the chicken coop, move Lenny and Karl’s coop to the garage (after we get our hay delivery, because 6 bales go straight in for spring/next year) and get next year’s garlic planted.
We heard from our Hay Guy yesterday and have delivery set up in a couple weeks…mares are still nommin on long pasture, and I have a line on a few round bales, so if we get short before our Guy can get to us, I’ll grab a couple rounds and put one out.
Got straw home for the birds, with a chance for another dozen small bales for winter.
Tomorrow I’ll make arrangements for rounds of straw for the mares, since we get rounds from the same farm as we get our piggie.
And that’s where we’re at…
Busy, getting ready as we can for stupid winter.
But, here’s a cute picture of Lenny and Karl (our incubator ducklings) for ya:

Karl has the dark beak, Lenny the pink one…think “Lenny and Karl” from The Simpsons…

Planning Next Year’s Garden

As I’m finishing up this year’s garden, I’m taking stock of what we have as left overs from last year’s season.
Like, I discovered we still have 19 pints of carrots on the shelf from 2019…in 2019 there was a killer sale on 10lb bags of carrots, we bought 4 of them, I canned 42 pints and 5 quarts.
Now in 2022, I still have 19 pints.
So clearly, I don’t have to plant (or can) as much carrots, because we’re not going through them very fast.
And, if I get them on sale big time at the mega mart, it’s not a big deal to not have as many growing in the garden.

Same with beets.
Now, pickled beets fly outta here like mad.
Between us and my Uncle, beets are a hot commodity.
So a couple rows of them is still a good idea.
Problem with them this year, is the voles had a damn good time eating the beets.
And the cats and chickens ate a lot of voles.
Nature happens, right?
But dang if I want to be planting tons of beets for the damn voles.
I have found tho, that in the local gardening groups *tons* of people have had vole problems this year.
It really does seem to be a bad year for them.
We’ll see what happens next year.

What we do need more of is tomatoes.
And green/purple/yellow beans.
Neither one of those produced enough for our yearly needs.
Oh, they produced very, very well.
I just didn’t have *enough* plants of them.

Onions are off the list too…it’s easier for us to hit the local potato farm and buy a 50lb bag.
Same with potatoes.

Ah, but peppers, that’s a different story.
I have a poblano plant growing inside that will provide seeds so that we can have a lot of poblanos growing in the garden next year.
And also shepherd peppers (which are a sweet red pepper) to grow as well.

I’m also looking at more perennial plants, because I’m old and tired.
Okay, I’m not that old, but I am getting tired.
Especially with the butchering too.
So raspberries, more apples, a big patch of asparagus, more grapes, and black currants too.
And, of course, the perennial medicinal plants too…

I think that’s why I felt like I had to take a good hard look at what we use frequently, and what we don’t.
And decide what we really need to grow and what we can skate by on buying local.
I have all that season I don’t want to name to think about it.