The Flicker Haven Farm Files-Now We're Busheling!
It's a total produce plethora round these parts!
For the last several days, in between getting the kids all settled into the back to school routine, I have been harvesting and processing like The Little Red Hen on steroids!
To start with, over the past two days I dug all of my potatoes. Now, I don't grow too many potatoes, at least not a quarter acre of them like I used. Rather, I just had two respectable sized rows, so I hand dig my potatoes out with a potato fork. Still though, hand digging 160 row feet of potatoes in the almost ninety degree heat is a bit of a workout. I was pretty happy to get them all out of the ground and into their new winter home, milk crates!
I then wheeled the potatoes over the to cooler room/larder in my barn. It's a lovely little insulated room that is just right for long term food storage.
After digging the potatoes I would always stop by and check out the awesome double blooming hollyhock in the flower patch. Well, the stop was a bit of a two fold pause, as I seem to be always picking calendulas too, dang those things have been fruitful this year!
Not that I mind, as there is a ton of calendula salve to be made by yours truly in the near future.
The hops are just about ready to pick, dry, vacuum seal and freeze for future beer production and tea sipping. Honestly, this is my first year with hops, so I am pretty excited to be able to use them!
After an obligatory gander at my now fifteen feet tall sunflowers that are getting close to blooming, I wandered over to the tomatoes and collected the ripe ones.
Let me just say, there is an all-star in the producer department in my tomato patch. This year, one of the varieties that I tried out was the Large Barred Boar open pollinated cultivar and boy do I ever love them!
Huge one to two pound fruits are all over ever Large Barred Boar plants in glorious clusters! Their red and green striped skin remind me of this hard candy my grandma used to keep in her candy jar.
And being in a creative and harvest bounty celebratory mood as of late, I stopped and plucked some basil, and grabbed a head of garlic so that I could experiment with the tomatoes a bit.
Every year I can a TON of tomato sauce, but I'm always up for trying things new ways, so I bucked up the Large Barred Boar tomatoes (and threw in a couple ripe Romas and cherry tomatoes), and threw them on a large cookie sheet. Then I placed a bunch of hand torn basil, peeled whole cloves of garlic, drizzled olive oil on it all, and sprinkled salt and pepper liberally on top of the end result. Next, I gave it all a stir and popped the tray into the oven for an hour and a half at 400F, stirring every 20 minutes and reducing the heat to 375F after 40 minutes.
At the end of the baking time, a beautiful sight awaited me, a perfectly reduced, caramelized looking batch of roasted tomato gloriousness. I let the tray cool a bit and then blended the roasted glory into the most amazing roasted tomato sauce. Easy and yum!!
Speaking of garlic, it is all cured nicely, so I have been working through the hanging bulbs, cutting the scapes and roots off and putting the bulbs into mesh bags for winter storage and use. Next month is time to plant garlic already! I can't believe it!
And every other day I am still picking quite a lot of green beans. It has been a very good green bean year, not that I mind, I love green beans!
And speaking of things that I love, it's time for me and my little chorin shadow to head out to do more fall harvesting things. I hope all your gardens are yielding just as spectacularly as mine is!!!