Steam floats off a partially-composted mix of cow manure & woodchips as its spread on the garden

It’s a busy time around here lately. I guess most of the year is a busy time around here, just different kinds of busy. Right now we’re trying to get the animals situated for the winter and finish off the garden.

Matt spent Friday and Saturday fencing in a different area for the gilts. Then he and Madeline cleared off the garden and pulled the tomato stakes and cattle panel trellises. Yesterday and today he was spreading manure both on our garden and on the neighbor’s soybean field (where, you guessed it, corn will be grown next year.) I just can’t help think of that little tune “spread a little sunshine” when I watch the manure spreader churning out it’s “riches” onto the garden where they’ll help grow a bounty of food next year.

But I have to admit, I’ve been cursing this year’s bounty just a little. I’m ready to be done canning already! This weekend I made two more batches of Farmgirl Fare’s Green Tomato Relish (which is more salsa than relish), a batch of spicy tomato sauce, and froze a couple quarts of winter squash. I’ve still got some winter squash to bake & freeze – a small acorn type that doesn’t look like it’s going to store well. The potimarron squash looks like it’s going to hold, so I won’t bother cooking and freezing it.

Then there’s a shoebox of jalapeno peppers, a 5-gallon pail of green bell peppers, 2 huge boxes of chili peppers, and drying beans. I’ll make a batch or two of pepper jelly, roast and can chili peppers in whatever canning jars I’ve got left, and we’ll string the rest of the hot peppers up to dry. Rafe and I will shell out the drying beans sometime, no hurry there.

Does anyone have suggestions or recipes for using dried peppers?

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8 Responses to

  1. Patti says:

    If you need more canning jars let me know. I didn’t do alot of canning this year so I have lots of extras. How are your baby ducks doing?

  2. Ugh, don’t ask about the baby ducks. Just this week we lost another and we’re down to one. Still have the 2 adults. They all waddle down to the creek in the mornings and spend most of their day hanging out there, then waddle back up to the shed at night. I’m wondering if a mink or muskrat in the creek is getting them.Thanks for the offer of jars but no, no more canning jars – that’s my excuse for being done :) When I run out of jars I can quit!

  3. Stacie says:

    wow, sounds like good work! Have you read Cold Mountain? I love the idea of living off the land! Our garden got us about 20 qts of tom sauce in the freezer, but that’s small potatoes (which we ate all off already) compared to your efforts! and a band, you say?

  4. Stacie says:

    I almost forgot… THAT PHOTO IS AWESOME!!

  5. Candice says:

    Hi, I’m just new to your site, and I think it is gorgeous – well done.I will start reading back over your achieves, I’ve already read the first entry and I really love your mission statement of wanting your customers to call you “our farmers”. My parents have a farm in Australia and all your stunning photos are making me a bit homesick.Sorry no recipes for the dried peppers, but with your next batch of tomatoes you should consider some Tomato Jam, in our house its a staple, perfect for adding sweet to savory dishes.

  6. Arrgh! Blogger hates me. I’ve been trying to post for 5 days. I can comment, but not post.Stacie – thanks, definitely going to have to add Cold Mountain to my winter reading list! And yep, I was in a little band that mostly did rock covers with the occasional original thrown in.Candice – thanks for stopping by. Tomato jam sounds interesting – got a recipe for me??

  7. karl says:

    wow you guys have been busy. isn’t that green tomato relish/salsa the best? if it makes you feel any better blogger hates me too. you’d think being a google product they’d have a better handle on things. the rss feed (live bookmark) from your site hasn’t worked for about the same amount of time i wonder if it has anyting to do with it?

  8. I love the manure spreader in action photo!