September Harvest

We are still picking and trying to process our September harvest. It was 41 degrees this morning, so it’s time to think about getting the last veggies in for the season. Here’s a basket of beans and a few ears of corn fresh from the garden.
The kitchen transformed for canning. Our pressure canner is older, but serviceable for now. Eventually we’ll be upgrading next season to something like an All American Pressure Canner because J has become quite proficient at canning these days. We like eating food we’ve grown since we know exactly where it came from and what is in it.

Here’s the final product waiting to be placed on the pantry shelves.

And of course who can resist eating what’s available while it is still fresh. Below is last night’s dinner, roast potatoes, cob corn and Korean kalbi style beef ribs (I based what I did to these on the linked recipe) from the last of our Hemlock Highland beef, all grilled in some form or another on our Weber charcoal grill. The beans were blanched, then tossed with butter, salt and pepper. We served this with a side of what we call “summer salad” or whatever is available in the garden, cukes, carrots, zucchini, onion, cabbage, broccoli; tossed and marinated in this instance with rice wine vinegar, hot sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, black pepper, sugar and red pepper flakes. Delish and completely local!

Other harvests included all of our hops. Here’s some fresh picked Cenntenial hops. After harvest we quickly dehydrate them, pack them in ziplock baggies, and freeze them for optimum freshness. We also harvested Cascade, Willamette, and Fuggles hops. Hops are harder to come by for home brewing and more expensive than ever, so we are considering adding more plants in order to have enough to sell at the farm gate eventually. They take a few years to get established.

On the far right rear, please note the enormous size of the egg! Our laying flock is the best we have ever had, and most hens lay an egg every day, but this? Above and beyond the call, I’d say. No hens appeared harmed in any way by the passing of this monster, at least as far as we could tell.

Another fall chore is worming the cattle. Here’s Lady Stella herself, first time in the new stanchion for a once over and some pour on Ivomec wormer. She was none too happy, but cheered considerably when the pan of grain was delivered. Turns out Stella didn’t take when Nash the bull visited, so she isn’t pregnant yet. We’ve talked to the owner of R Double D’s Rambling Bob, the bull who we had out last year, and she can spare him this fall. Bob will be out late October through November to see if we can get Stella to give us another calf as handsome as Douglas next year. The boys, Douglas (left) and Ryder the bull (right) also received their worm treatment. Here they are after the fact, getting to know each other better. Ryder has gotten much better on a lead these days, but we intend to keep on his training all winter. And after a hard day of harvesting and critter wrangling, Crichton demonstrates how to unwind.

“By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.”
Helen Hunt Jackson, September
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