Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fall Craziness!--A Trailer Park Homestead update

Unbelievably, kids who go to school are back to school, my kids are back to their homeschool lessons, leaves are starting to change colors, just a bit up north from here had a frost advisory last night, and harvest madness is in full effect.  It is a busy, busy time on the Trailer Park Homestead, with some major changes to the landscape and more changes coming in the next week or two!
My one cantaloupe was harvested and eaten, leaving only the dead plant behind, so I pulled that.  The tomatoes that were moved to the front of the house to escape the heat of the patio have been moved back to take advantage of that heat now that the nights are starting to get into the lower 50s or even 40s.  One plant didn't survive.
The tomatoes in their new/old home.  I trimmed all the dead and dying parts off, so they look really sad, but much healthier now.  I filled the empty spot with one of the Brandywine plants from the middle of the yard, since I need to be clearing that area out to get ready for the work being done on the garage soon and I figured it could use the heat as well.
I took down all the sunflowers, giving me 3 paper grocery sacks of heads to de-seed.  Fortunately for me, the kids like to do this, so I just have to let them plop their butts in front of the television, and that task will magically be done!  I'm having thoughts of taking out all the corn as well and stringing the beans back up around sunflower-stalk-teepees, since they've been knocking down the corn anyway.

I can't get over how different everything looks without the sunflowers!
I was dreading having to take all those kernels off all those ears of dent corn, but apparently that is another task the kids love!  I'm not about to tell them what a miserable job it is if they haven't noticed yet!  Such helpful tiny farmhands I seem to have created!
Yesterday's harvest: 8 quarts of tomatoes, 3 quarts of beans, and the aforementioned sunflower heads.  My 6 year old and 2 year old picked the tomatoes and beans all by themselves and actually asked if they could!  I asked them to pick the beans as well, which was met by a little grumping by the 6 year old, but since his friends were still at school and he was already done with his schoolwork, he went ahead and did it.  Yay for helpful kids!  The beans have since been blanched and frozen and the tomatoes were boiled down as sauce.  
All in all, I haven't put up as much as I did the previous week, only 6 baggies of beans, 3 baggies of Harvard beets, what I hope is a year's supply of beet-based red food coloring (more coming in a later post if it does in fact work), 5 pints of tomato sauce, and 8 half-pints of tomato sauce (pizza night!), but I've still been very busy and will be staying that way for a while!


  1. Couple of things - have you ever considered purchasing a sealer? We have worked our way through three of them so far (when you do 100+ chickens at a go, they tend to burn out on you, but that isn't the machine's fault). We swear by them. They keep your veggies and meats *really* fresh, with no air to freezer burn. They also work well for storing seeds for next year, and for making snack sized packages of dried apples etc for kids. Plus, when you do buy meat at the grocery store, you can get the MEGABIG packs and then go home and seal them in "single meal size" thereby saving money. :)

    Second, your beans are rattlesnake beans. They are most definitely OP heritage beans, something our grandparents and great grandparents would have gladly kept in their gardens. They can get very VERY large. In the past, we have grown them on 7 foot tall tee pees of poles, and had them grow all the way up AND OVER the top. The center shady spot is a great place to plant cabbage, too. :)

  2. The beans definitely get huge like you said, but a quick google search said rattlesnake beans have white flowers and these bad boys have purple flowers, so I don't think they are the exact same thing.

    It is too late to plant cabbage or much of anything else around here since the first frost is typically around October 3 and snows are frequently a couple weeks later. :-( Things are wrapping up outdoors and are about time to shift back inside.