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Archive for September, 2013

Deerfield Fair 2013

I know I have mentioned that our little town is home to the “largest and finest agricultural fair” in all of New England.  Thus it is a pretty big deal when fair weekend arrives.  In fact, Finn didn’t have school today as it is closed for the fair.  Finn was really excited about it because they had been talking about it.  I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of trying to get to the fair in the midst of preparing for our big trip to Mexico, but with no school, I decided to be brave and take the kids this morning on my own (poor Sean had to go to work – I don’t know why fisheries biologists don’t get fair Friday off!).  I am so glad I decided to go.  I was nervous about both of them running in different directions, but they were so great about staying near me and so enthusiastic about everything we saw and did.  Finn was very interested in the rides, so we decided to get those out of the way first.  We all hopped on the merry go round as it was something that Josette could do too.  Then, Finn opted for a motorcycle ride on his own.  Lastly, they both convinced me to go on dizzy dinosaurs.  I couldn’t believe Josie was so excited to do it too, but they both wanted to go and giggled crazily as we spun in circles.  I myself was pleased when ti was done – my equilibrium isn’t what it used to be.  After the rides, we had to enjoy some fried dough (what is a fair without fried foods?)  We happily shared that snack in front of a log sawing contest.  Then, we watched a flying circus show for a bit.  After that, we had to see the animals.  Josie wanted to pet everything from goats to giant oxen, it didn’t matter, she wanted to hug and pet them.  So, we did 🙂  Finn, too, loved the animals, but he was disappointed that all the poultry were in cages and he could’t pick up the chickens and ducks!  I personally loved the goats and still am certain we will get some in the future!  I also dragged the kids through the vegetable barn so see the giant pumpkins – one of the best things at the fair in my opinion.  Finally, the kids were even thrilled to ride on the tractor pulled trailer back to the car.  Fun times!  Now to pack for the next crazy adventure!

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Weekly Garden Post

We are just about wrapping up everything in the garden before we go on vacation next week.  It truly feels like fall around here.  We picked the final tomatoes and beans and corn and many of the peppers.  I made a large batch of green tomato salsa with our tomatoes and jalapenos and anaheim peppers.  I made a batch of hot garlic pickles with the last cucumbers and our hot thai peppers.  We still have the popcorn out there that needs to dry.  And, I am still wishing and hoping for all my greek sweet butternut squash to ripen.  They are showing more and more orange and I am hoping that when we come back from our trip they will all have ripened up and be ready for the harvest.  The kids have been picking some of the peas from the second round of planting and eating them right in the garden.  We have been letting the chickens out to free range daily now and they are so happy to pick away at the remaining tomatoes and get all the bugs and worms they can find.  Finn and Josette love running around with the chickens and picking them up.  Finn is constantly walking around with a chicken and showing them places in the yard he thinks they will like.  Josette likes to point and one and say, “that one likes to be cuddled” and then ask that we put it in her lap.  And, what of our notorious chicken killing dog?  She likes to graze amongst the chickens for garden scraps paying no mind to the birds.  It is quite fun when we leave the house and go out into the yard, the flock of chickens comes running to us in hopes of treats.  They are looking quite ragged these days as they are moulting and we have feathers everywhere.  They are still laying pretty well though, as I have heard they slow down during the molt.  Yesterday, we ran out into our yard and had a surprise.  We hadn’t yet let the chickens out, but there was a flock of birds in the garden and field that Josette went running towards.  Wait, Josette, those are big chickens!!!

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From Tree to Cider

We had a lovely Sunday filled with apples.  Sean has been planning on creating hard cider since moving to NH.  We have a few cider apples in the “orchard,”  but they aren’t producing apples just yet.  In the meantime, we are going to begin experimenting with the process so that by the time our apples are coming in droves we are master fermenters.  Luckily, our neighbors are happy to have us pick from their trees.  So, we picked their two varieties (Golden Delicious and Winesap) and we picked a bunch of our crab apples and then we got to pressing.  We lack a press just yet, but did small batches of apples in the food processor and then squeezed through cheesecloth.  We got about two gallons total.  We had fun sampling each variety and the kids loved the fresh cider.   Once the kids were in bed, Sean and I got to mixing and now we just have to wait for the ferment to happen and hope we don’t get vinegar.  We are trying to use wild yeast so it may take a bit.  In the meantime we have been enjoying the fresh cider and I can’t wait to get some more pressed.  Yum!

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Salt Painting

It has been awhile since I have posted a fun kiddo project.  This weekend we tried raised salt painting.  It was a lot of fun.  It took some practice to get the light touch onto the glue and salt to just dab the paint on without smearing and to allow the color to spread across.  They both did pretty well and spent some time working on it before they had to mix all the colors and Josette had to smear her hands through it.  It is all about the process.  Finn was actually a bit disappointed that the product wasn’t to be saved and displayed on the fridge.  Oh, and on a side note: Yes, Josette is naked with her wings on doing art.  Don’t all great artists have their quirks?

September 2013 062

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Great Brook Hike

We have had absolutely beautiful weather here in NH; crisp and cool in the morning and then sunny and warm and dry in the afternoons.  It is perfect hiking weather and the kids and Lily and I took advantage of it last Thursday with a local hike along the great brook trail.  We were all in the best of moods.  Finn and Josette ran much of the trail to our snacking spot overlooking a beaver pond.  There was rock climbing and tree climbing and splashing in the brook.  There were superhero adventures and pirate adventures.  I couldn’t have asked for a nicer day.

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Garden Post

Life has been a little busy so I am a bit behind in my posts.  Here is our belated weekly garden post.  The garden is winding down quite a bit these days.  The cucumbers have died back.  We have pulled the summer squash plants and the tomatoes are in their final days.  The fresh corn is ready to be fully harvested and the popcorn is beginning to dry.  We were excited to harvest most of our sugar pie pumpkins and the rest of our spaghetti squash last weekend.  They have been curing in the sun before storage.  I am checking our Greek Sweet Red heirloom butternuts daily hoping they ripen before the first frost.  We have about 14 big and beautiful squash, but they are just now showing the first bit of color change and I really really want them to be ripe and be able to enjoy them through the winter.  We also have many peppers that are almost ready to be picked and added to some green tomato salsa I want to can up with the remaining unripe tomatoes.  We have some peas showing up on the second round of plants.  The chickens all got out one day and ate up all the greens that I had planted.  Oh, they did seem to enjoy them!  This has really been a good garden.  You may also notice we have a new garden fairy 🙂

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Food in Jars

I have written in our gardening posts about preserving our harvest.  We certainly have been busy in the kitchen.  This Sunday was dedicated to processing a whole lot of tomatoes.  We did some salsa with our lemon boy tomatoes and then we made a huge batch of pasta sauce with all of our romas.  We used Barbara Kingsolver’s “family secret recipe” in her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  It made 7 quarts of sauce and I put most of them in pint jars, so we got 14 pints.  Add that to the 5 pints of roasted garlic pasta sauce we canned last weekend.  We also have a total of 10 pints of salsa.  I think we probably have even more tomatoes to come.  We are close to two full gallon bags of “sundried” tomatoes, too.  We will be enjoying these tomatoes all winter long!  Our pantry is filling up!  Harvest season indeed!

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