Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nearly December

The lettuce has stopped growing; it's been about this size for nearly a month. A couple weeks ago dad cut some anyway. Maybe he just didn't want the deer to get it. If you look very closely at the dirt on the plastic, you might see a couple bees on it. They were out and flying around in the sun, and here are getting a drink from the wet ground. Aunt Laurie has been working on taking the strings and stakes out of the tomatoes. Today I even did a few! A couple stuck too deep are left for dad to pull.
The only market still going is Beaver on Saturdays, which will continue through December. Last Saturday we were visiting David and my mom's family for Thanksgiving, so Sue took squash and cabbage to market for us. It was a pretty slow and cold day, so I'm glad I didn't have to go.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More than frost on the pumpkin

This morning I woke up to more than a dusting of snow on the ground; the grass was pretty well covered. We've had snow as early as Halloween, but it still looks funny with some trees still having leaves, and a couple bushes that are still green.

Yesterday was the next to last market day in Ambridge, and the last one on Thursday. Since next week is Thanksgiving, market will be on Tuesday. Last night mom didn't feel like unloading the squash into the garage, just to load it up again on Saturday morning. So, dad just plugged the small space heater from the bathroom into an extension cord and put it up in the van. It kept the squash from freezing, but the bathroom was chilly!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Still going to market

This weekend has been the typical November, cloudy and wet. Last night we had quite a bit of rain, with some thunder and lightning, but I can't give any exact figures because we took the rain gauge down when it went below freezing to keep it from cracking. Despite adverse conditions, mom and Sue are still going to market on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. There is still lots of squash, pie pumpkins, and a few cabbage to bring.
The basil was completely killed by the cold weather; parsley and weeds remain unaffected.
Things are winding down, and it's time to start cleaning up and preparing for next year. Roger brush-hogged the corn in the flat field (you know you're in W. Pa. when you name a field the flat field, and it's perfectly clear which one you're talking about). If we're lucky and have a mild fall and early winter, we'll be able to pick up all of the plastic and tomato stakes so that the fields will be ready for next year.

On Saturday, dad went to the Western Pennsylvania Vegetable Growers conference, and heard an interesting presentation by Steve Groff on no-till farming. There is always something new to learn about farming, whether it's a new seed variety, a new method of farming, or a piece of equipment that will make work easier. That's what keeps it interesting.

Mom (on her own, all I did was add links!) added two more recipes to our website. The first one is basic instructions for how to cook squash, and the other is a nice recipe for a squash-apple bake I'll put some pictures in when mom or I have some time to make it and take some.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A cold and frosty morning--now with pics!

On Monday morning it did freeze; our thermometer showed a low temperature of 28 degrees. The frost sure did look pretty, but it did in the peppers and tomatoes. Dad hunted around and found a tomato and a couple peppers that were covered by leaves enough to not be damaged, but the plants are dead now.
Hardier cole crops were not damaged, like this Savoy (or curly) cabbage. Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dill, lettuce, and all the squash, gourds, pumpkins, etc. that we brought inside are still ok, also. Dad is still sorting through all the tomatoes that he picked before frost and picking out the ripened ones to sell at market.
Last evening while waiting for trick-or-treaters to come (all 10 of them, plus a dog) mom and I worked on creating a web page ( with instructions for making pumpkin pie from a pie pumpkin. I would like to point out that even though things have slowed down, she has not recently made a pie; the pictures are from last Thanksgiving. That's one of the nice things about squash--it stores a long time so we get to cook with it, something there's not enough time for with summer vegetables.