It's fall which means our days are busy getting products made for the business, getting orders packed & shipped, as well as trying to keep up with the leaves and picking and processing the remaining produce in the garden.  Where do we even start with an update?  Let's start in one of my favorite spots....the kitchen!

a busy kitchen
oven-roasted tomatoes for homemade spaghetti sauce
The kitchen is truly the most used space on our property.  Because I make almost everything from scratch and we preserve excess produce, it's rarely left without some task mid-process.  A couple of weeks ago I baked a large amount of oven-roasted tomatoes.  Rather than canning them as sauce I mixed them in the food processor until they were sauce and then placed them in jars for freezing.  Next year I will go the extra step to can them because our freezers are FULL!

I also chose not to can tomatoes this year.  And now I wish I had.  I so much prefer having tomato products stored in glass over cans and certainly enjoy the taste of freshly grown.  I will go back to canning them next year.  I usually preserve them as sauce, diced, and whole peeled tomatoes.

delicious minestrone cooling on the back deck
On the weekends I usually make up big pots of soup that we can eat throughout the week.  I LOVE minestrone.  Mostly because I never use a recipe and just toss it whatever I've got for veggies plus beans and a grain.  It's always a tad bit different.  I'm back to making two completely different meals many days because I'm still eating plant-based while my husband is not.  {sigh....}  it's a pain but worth it.  So, because of this, I try to make anything ahead of time that I can in order to save time in the evenings.

no-knead artisan bread baked in a loaf pan with a second loaf pan
I also made no-knead bread into a traditional loaf.  It was fantastic!  Usually it's baked in a round ball and develops a very thick crust (which is delicious) but baked in a loaf pan the crust is a bit lighter, perfect for sandwiches or for serving thinner slices.  Although I'm eating a lot less foods that contain flour these days (I find that I feel better) I still make bread from time-to-time.  On a similar note, I have done very well in continuing to avoid refined sugars and rarely consume honey or maple syrup now too.  Since dates have the most nutritional value I try to stick with them if I need something sweet.  That and fruit three times a day.

squash ready for roasting
we roasted regular and roma tomatoes
can there ever be too much kale???
Our first frost arrived!  This meant we had to hurry around and pick the last of what was in the garden.  We have a TON of Asian Pears.  I will be eating them for months.  I picked the last of my herbs and tied them so I could hang them to dry.  I also processed the remaining basil into oil & cheese-free freezer pesto.  We picked another bushel of peppers and I'll be processing them tomorrow.  They get cleaned, sliced, and put up in the freezer.  The last of the eggplant was roasted and we ate it the night we picked it.  Broccoli is in the fridge.  I think we'll be able to eat what's left fresh before it goes bad.   I have a few plants still growing (I covered them for the frost) so, depending on when we get frost again, we may get more!  Greens (kale, swiss chard & spinach) are still growing.  They will be fine until we receive a harder frost.  And I'm in the process of roasting all of the winter squash to put up in the freezer.  Green tomatoes are lined up in the kitchen window and those that are ripe are being eaten as quickly as we can.  We are honestly just about tomatoed out.....but isn't that the beauty of eating seasonally?  You wait and wait and wait and then eat and eat and eat.  And then you go back to waiting for the next summer's bounty.  By the time it arrives you can't wait to eat and eat and eat!

farmcat Jack on one of his many adventures outside (where he isn't allowed to be....)

my sweet boy Oliver
Oliver and Jack both had their yearly check-ups.  Their doctor said they are both perfect!  Of course, I debated saying that about Jack.  Thankfully he's perfect health-wise but he's still a very naughty boy.  His main source of happiness is tormenting Oliver any chance he gets or trying to sneak out of the house (and going into full-on panic mode when he succeeds).  He has not matured at all as he has aged.  (don't tell him but he can be pretty funny sometimes)

our hardworking garden clean-up crew

The coop girls are molting.  It's been just over a month so hopefully we're getting toward the end.  There are feathers everywhere!  The good thing is the feathers do well in compost, so that's where I've been putting them.  Egg production at this time is summed up in one word:  slow.  We don't use many eggs so it works out fine for us.  Our egg customers, however, are sad.

The coop girls have been busy cleaning up the garden beds for us.  Let me tell you they take it as a serious job.  Dirt goes flying as they make their way through the beds looking for bugs and such.  They run to one area and scratch and peck, and then they hear another chicken exclaiming excitement over what she's found so they run to her and scratch and peck, and then another chicken exclaims excitement, and, well, you get the idea.  They don't stay in any one place for long.

Projects around the home are on hold for a bit as we try to get caught up with making products.  We're hoping to get the back deck stained before winter.  That's the largest project we'd like to tackle.  I've got to tidy up the garden and other small projects but I should be able to fit those in.

That's what's happening around here.  Hoping you had a wonderful (and productive) weekend as well!

1 comment

daisy g said...

Oh my, does that bread look scrumptious. Especially since I'm on day 4 of an elimination diet which excludes grains, sugars, nuts and seeds, dairy and nightshades, among other things. I think I may just make myself some homemade bread when I get done with this (if wheat doesn't show up on my allergy panel).

Your produce looks so fantastic and I could eat a bowl of that minestrone right now! (I'm eating soup for breakfast through this diet.)

Thank you for sharing your beautiful fall colors! We are just now getting temps in the 50's and we are SO ready!