Thursday, June 14, 2012

New gardens, new kitten, salmon berry jelly, incarcerated hens, rendering fat, cracklins

Even with the  rainy  weather and a series of  family 'crisis' that took us  away  from our  micro farm-in-the-rough, Jimmy and I managed to get a lot done around here in the last 10 days.   We put in two more beds and  planted  our  'winter garden' veggies.  I also put in a couple of rows of turnips this year.  We reconditioned a bed that was in really  bad shape, added some new herbs to it and are now calling it the  'herb garden'.  Its perfect... just outside the kitchen door.  It had some strawberries in it and a bunch of daffodils and other bulb-y  type flowers but mostly it was overgrown with weeds. We cleaned it all out, straightened the overgrown edges and planted rosemary,tarragon,  sage, thyme, parsley, chamomile. lavender, marjoram and a few others.  I like the  bed  being just outside the kitchen door cause when I'm cooking I don't want to have to hike down into the back field  to  get a sprig of tarragon.
The girls couldn't behave themselves  around the newly planted gardens so they have been penned up for the  summer. They can only come out  under heavy supervision.   They managed to get under the netting and tore out one of the  newly planted  brussel sprout starts.  I was hoping that they would avoid the garden beds and enjoy the rest of the  1 acre roaming space. But no. They went for  the gold and got themselves incarcerated.
We have a new kitten.  Jimmy named him Michaeletto after the assassin on the Borgias.  We need a good mouser out here and 11 year old Drusilla just doesn't have it anymore.  Her overweight, over privileged, spoiled highness  is in a dither over the new addition.  Jimmy is worried that her feelings are hurt.  I say... serves her right for being fat, lazy and useless.
Baby Sis gave me another bag of pig fat that I rendered down. I'm getting  pretty good at this. This took less time  and I  did the  'cracklins ' right.  I have also spent some time wandering the woods and picking Salmon berries.  Jimmy has kindly agreed to go with me on several occasions .... because he is way taller than me and can actually reach the berries.  Sometime over the next week I will be making salmon berry jelly. 
Eeven though we have achieved much, we still have a long way to go.... so I need to stop pretending to be a writer and go be a farmer!
In the mean time... Here are some photos of our progress. 
Tomatoes and peppers on soon to be sunny veranda

Lettuce and cabbage bed

winter garden with snow peas

New herb garden