welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Thursday, November 12, 2009

it has arrived!

The greenhouse arrived yesterday. Or at least all of it's bits and pieces did. There are now boxes of parts and bundles of pipes stowed in the garage. I put a call in to the construction crew so they could get me on their schedule.

Now, the nervousness returns. Next to my home, this is the single largest purchase I've ever made. Normally I go into new things slow and easy. Test the water to see if I like it, so to speak. This time I'm diving in and the water is deep.

Although tendrils of fear curl around the edges of my thoughts, I'm still definitely excited about beginning. Saturday I borrowed a pick-up truck and got a load of leaf compost (for just 10 bucks - what a deal, right?), then on Monday spread it as a top dressing over the topsoil where the greenhouse will be. Once the house is built, I'll be able to start preparing the growing beds.

Fear and excitement - sort of like being on a roller coaster. Hopefully just like an amusement park ride, I'll also have a lot of fun. I think I will.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

final fall planting

Yesterday afternoon I decided that it was the perfect day for putting in the garlic. We've had our first hard frost, but the soil is still warm. I tilled under the eight inch high spring oats cover crop and saw some truly beautiful soil - soft and dark and crumbly (all of the mulching and composting and rock-picking is paying off). The sky was overcast and rain was in the forecast, but the air felt almost balmy as I pushed the cloves into the earth. Working steadily, I could see my neighbors were also trying to beat the oncoming twilight and the next round of rain as one baled corn fodder and another brought in hay for their dairy cows. The shorter day length catches me by surprise sometimes and so planting was finished by the day's last light.

Monday, November 2, 2009

pickled peppers

The weather this summer was not real conducive to ripening hot peppers. They grew like gangbusters, set flowers, and even produced many, many peppers - that then mostly just sat there waiting for it to get hot enough to ripen. Poor things. A few hungarians and jalapenos ripened to make red and green hot pepper jellies as well as a bit of hot sauce, but the others just seemed to be holding their breath. Then finally, last week, the lemon drops decided to go for it and there were about a half dozen cayennes that also took the plunge. So this weekend I picked all I could find and made a small batch of lemon drop hot pepper jelly and an even smaller batch of mixed hot pickled peppers. I haven't tried either of them yet, but they sure do look good. And I'm grateful they managed to hang on long enough to give me this much.

Next year about half the tomatoes and all of the peppers and eggplants will be grown in the greenhouse. They should love the extra heat.


I have nothing to say about this piece, really. It was just a bit of fun.