firsts

IMG_8139The first frost of the season settled on the farm over the weekend. We knew it was coming, as we saw nearly a 50 degree temperature drop in just a few days, but somehow never feel fully prepared for the reality of that plummeting mercury. Here in Bugtussle, the temperatures hovered right around the freezing point but didn’t dip low enough to send the garden into complete submission. In areas of the garden with good air drainage we saw very little frost damage. Even tomato and pepper plants somehow survived with only a slight kiss of frost, while neighboring summer squash plants were scorched. Some ginger that was still in the ground thankfully only had some leaf damage while in the next row over, the last few remaining rows of sweet potatoes were weirdly dark and melty looking.IMG_8140So on Sunday (a day of rest, right?), we made a push to finish up the sweet potato harvest and get them out of the ground before any of the frost damage could travel down the vine and adversely affect those precious roots. Golly, if my somewhat tired brain serves me right now, I’m figuring we lifted just a few hundred pounds shy of two tons of sweet potatoes from our garden soil. That’s a whole lot of winter meals!

The first frost came sort of early this year. Not much, but enough for us to realize all that still needs to be wrapped up before the persistent nightly frosts make themselves known around these parts: finish harvesting ginger and peanuts; haul the ridiculous amount of winter squash to the barn; glean the last of the tomatoes and peppers and maybe even process some; clean-up, clean-up, clean-up in the garden; and finally get cover crops on any bare soil. Oh, yeah… and plant a quarter acre of garlic.IMG_8142The weekend also heralded our first fall share delivery in our CSA. This time of year is always slightly insane… that odd clash of seasons that procures watermelons and sweet potatoes in the same basket (which was a first). The time of year when summer isn’t quite over but fall is fully upon us, if you know what I mean. Kind of wacky, but Eric and I get great amusement out of watching our shareholders load their baskets, juggling the melons while hefting the weight of all the potatoes and sweet potatoes, and trying not to smash the kale or the tomatoes. It’s such a treat for us to know that our food will travel into so many special homes to be prepared and consumed by so many special folks. I really do love my job. Even though I work most weekends.

On a different wavelength, I started knitting my very first pair of socks, knitted two at a time. There is genius behind knitting two matching garments, or a pair of something, at the same time. Just think… no more will I have face the deflated feeling of exactly repeating the same project I just completed in order to have a pair of something. (also know as the “second sock syndrome”) Nope. Two at once is brilliant. I’ve wanted to give this technique a whirl for a long time now, but am just feeling the mental wherewithal to actually tackle such a project. I’m sure for the experienced two-at-a-time-knitter, it’s really not a big deal. But I am not that person, and for me it is a very big deal. I did beg my children to “just leave me alone” for a few minutes so I could successfully cast-on the socks (which is the tricky part). Surely that doesn’t make me a terrible mother.IMG_8150{Here I am following the instructions for “sample” socks from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. They are knitted in different colors to help the beginner be able to have a better idea what the hell they are doing. That, too, is genius.}

And on an entirely different note, my little man Ira shot his first squirrel today. Perfect shot, too. He cleaned it himself and he’ll be cooking it for lunch tomorrow. The acorns are so insane right now, I imagine that squirrel is “acorn-finished”…IMG_8170There’s a first time for everything, friends.

6 thoughts on “firsts

  1. Not too keen on the dead squirrel, but I’m impressed by the socks. They are on my list to try this Winter. I’m surprised you guys down South had frost before us here in PA!

    • Yeah… dead squirrels may not be the most photogenic. But the proud young hunter is kind of irresistible. And lunch today (roasted squirrel and potatoes with sage and onions) was fabulous, all prepared by my boy.

      • See for me, two things stood out.

        Clean, humane shot and lunch. Those 2 pieces of information are vital. Otherwise, it’s just cruel sport.

      • Absolutely agree… we do try to instill in our children that if you take a life, it must be in order to sustain your own. And to do so with the utmost respect. But I guess I’m a hypocrite because I kill flies and mice, but don’t eat them.

      • Absolutely agree… we do try to instill in our children that if you take a life, it must be in order to sustain your own. And to do so with the utmost respect. But I guess I’m a hypocrite because I kill flies and mice, but don’t eat them.

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