Last Week On The Homestead: The Small Fall Garden, Food Preservation Task, and Mr. Grinch Pants


the pepper plants have finally finished for the year

the fall kale patch

October 30 - November 6, 2022

Hello friends!  

Happy November!  I hope this finds you doing well.  We are immersed into fall and the trees are becoming bare.  The beautiful show of colors has come to an end.  We have removed leaves from our property more times than we care to count, but it's all worth it.  I can't imagine not having such beauty to enjoy.  Speaking of beauty, the moon has been glorious!  I take Oliver out a LOT to do his business, so I have plenty of opportunity to peer at it.  

We've had more than a couple of nights that have dipped into the 20's, and 30's are now the standard.  Can you believe that my pepper and summer squash plants continued to grow and produce until we hit the 20's overnight?  I've never had pepper plants live through a frost, let alone multiple frosts, before.  And I never covered them!  I just assumed they would die once our first frost came, but I was wrong.

Our garden continues to produce, but it's now very limited.  I have plenty of kale, radish, & beets growing in addition to parsley, sage, chives, and cilantro.  And the dill has made a comeback!  That and a lone little sugar snap pea plant have suddenly started growing.  

Yet another garden surprise.

The temps have been surprisingly mild for the most part.  This past week we had the doors and windows open 4 of the days!  It's been perfect for getting things done around the house.  And, of course, for fishing.  My husband is still going out weekly.

I was able to get the last of the pie pumpkins and winter squash processed.  Because we don't have a cold storage area, I roast them and then freeze the cooked flesh.  Ollie is always my helper when it comes to working with squash or sweet potatoes (or apples, or rice, or blueberries, or....), so we were able to get our task completed quickly (and with a lot of sampling).

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Jay and a friend of ours took down 3 trees that were, unfortunately, dead.  We'd been worried that if they came down in a wind or ice storm, they could hit the barn or the chicken coop.  My husband finished cutting it all up and stacking it and, because we switched to all pellet stoves and no longer have a woodstove (though I'm hopeful we'll have one again), we listed the wood on Facebook marketplace for free.  We knew someone could put it to good use.  Sure enough, a very happy guy picked it up.

Our business has entered into its last busy season of the year.  It's hard to believe but we've released our holiday soaps and lotions!  I used to try and hold off until mid-November but so many people are ready earlier and, so, we have begun making it earlier.

Needless to say, it has been a whirlwind of activity around these parts and most of my last 2 weeks was spent making, packaging, and shipping products.  We try very hard to keep our turnaround down to a couple of days, but it can get very interesting.  When our holiday products went live, I had prepped a LOT of boxes which helped out.

Speaking of Christmas....I decided to try and take Christmas photos of Oliver and Jackson while it's still nice out and Jack HATES me putting any piece of clothing on him.  I put a hat with reindeer antlers on his head and all he would do was lower his head.  He refused to make eye contact with me - he was sooooo disappointed.  

Doesn't he look like he's wearing his grinch pants?

The Coop Girls are just about done with their molt.  We have a few that still look awful, but we are seeing less feathers adorning every nook and cranny of the coop and yard, so that is nice.  

In the photo above you can see Summer (chicken) outside of the fenced in coop while the others are inside the fencing.  She seems to think that chicken rules are not for her.  When we put them back into their coop, that means free-range time is over.  Summer does not believe in being told when her free-range time is up, so she has figured out how to get out.  More importantly, she has also figured out how to get back in, and she does so when she wants a drink or is ready to go to bed.  She is a funny one!

I've been asked by a number of you to include our meal plan for the week in these updates.  As we all know, I'm horrible at remembering to photograph meals, so I won't usually include any photos, but I can try to remember to add a list (and links if I have them).  

A couple of things to remember.  Jay and I eat different meals.  He eats meat, fish, eggs, & dairy and I do not. So, they will be listed separately.  Another thing is that if I listed my dinner, it would always say "salad".  I can assure you it's definitely not as boring as it may sound.  I love having raw veg for my last meal of the day.  It's always packed full of greens, other veg (grated beets and carrots, onions, celery, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.), sometimes fruit, and always about 1/4 cup of a whole grain and a couple tablespoons of hummus, which I use as my "dressing".  So, that being said, I will list my lunches as they are what is typically thought of as dinner options, and Jay's dinners.

This Week's Meal Plan:

J- Ground Beef Quesadilla with Guacamole & Salsa
S- Bean Quesadilla with Guacamole & Salsa

J- Steak on the Grill (probably the last one of the year!), Homefries, and Roasted Beets
S- White Beans & Kale Skillet possibly served over a mashed sweet potato instead of with bread as suggested (this will be a new recipe; I'll make a few adjustments including broth/water sauté instead of oil, using oven roasted cherry tomatoes from our summer garden instead of sun-dried tomatoes, using great northern beans instead of cannellini)

S- leftover White Beans & Kale Skillet

J- Honey-Chipotle Glazed Pork Tenderloin, Scalloped Potatoes, Mexican Street Corn
S- Chili & Cornbread (cornbread adjustments: I'm going to try cutting the recipe in half and putting it into muffin cups so I will eliminate the oil/butter; non-dairy milk & yogurt, and chia or flax "egg")

J- Easy Weeknight Chicken Cordon Bleu, Rice, and Green Beans
S- leftover Chili & Cornbread 

S- leftover Chili & Cornbread  (I'll freeze any chili remaining after this meal)

S- Root Veg & Red Lentil Stew with Dumplings

Wishing you a wonderful week!


  1. Your girls are looking good. A few of ours are still molting, but not too hard. The meals sounds delicious. Hummus is so good. It's been on my mind to make some, and you may have inspired me to do that today.

    Your husband is a lucky guy. When we got together, I told J he could cook whatever he'd like, but that I was cooking vegetarian food. He'd been living on his own a while, and cooking for himself. You may have become plant based later on, which could make it a bit more tricky to negotiate.

    Grumpy Jackson! I'm surprised you were able to get the clothes on him. I'm pretty sure our farm cat would not cooperate. We've got one Ameraucana hen that does the same, so her wings get clipped every so often. Most recently, she had enticed another couple of the young ones out with her. The moon was really beautiful last night. Have a beautiful week!

    1. I agree - hummus is delicious indeed! Yes, my husband is in fact lucky. lol When we got together, I was vegetarian but not a healthy vegetarian (still ate too much junk) so I actually began eating a small amount of meat again because I didn't enjoy cooking 2 different meals. I went completely plant-based only 5 years ago. He has zero desire to cook so I continue on. I used to make all the meals though and at least I have him making his own breakfast and lunch now!

      Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

  2. Thanks so much for the dinner menus...I have such a hard time planning dinner. I don't know why...everyone seems to be on their own for the other two meals (coming and going at different times) but I struggle so with's always the same old recipes and if I try something new, it never seems to be a good as it looked in a Pinterest photo...hmmm?! You've inspired daughter and I are always saying we want to move toward vegetarian, but cooking two meals makes me feel overwhelmed...I think we'll start slow, a few a week should be a good start. Off to plan...thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Mary. Yes, a few a week is a great idea! Meals are indeed tough, it's so hard to find new recipes to add in the rotation. A LOT of recipes that are so-so before you find one that works for your family. 😉

  3. Oh Staci, I hope you're still checking older post replies...I just made your cranberry/walnut biscotti - it such a wonderful recipe!! Thank you for sharing it.

    First, the dough was delicious - yes, I did take a little taste, and I have to learn to shape and cut slices better (not very pretty), but my, oh my, they taste so good. I'm just waiting for them to completely cool...tonight I'll be having a cup of herbal tea and your biscotti...I have a feeling this may just be what I need to unwind at the end of the day. Again, thanks for taking the time to share the recipe...delicious! Hope the month is going well for you both...busy with the business, I'm sure!

    1. Awww...thanks so much Mary!! I'm really happy you enjoyed them. I have to get around to posting the other variations as well. So nice in the winter with tea or coffee. Thank you for letting me know that you tried them and liked them!


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