We came from here:
The trees are already changing colours and it was 37°F this AM. I have my Lady's grandsons helping me today, but it's cold and wet outside, so we are spending as much time in as out.
Getting colourful on the October Homestead
We came from here:
I want solar panels. House first. Then I can play with solar. My step dad has solar panels. He is very mechanically inclined. He has large auto batteries stored under his house and he some how charges those batteries with the solar panels which in turn uses the batteries for stuff in his house. STrange to me. But I am learning all that I can so when it is time to install some solar, I will know what I am doing.
Yesterday I was off work - so I decided to waste some precious fuel and take a ride, I wanted to see some of the land around the upper parts of the Blackwater River so took off on some of the smaller back roads in the northern part of the county. It was some nice farmland. I continued up Callaway Road to Callaway and then further till I hit the part also known as "Five mile Mountain Road" this was a really rough stretch of road, narrow and sharp turns I do not mind but it has been patched and re-patched so it was not a good surface. It ended at 221 in Roanoke County at Bent Mountain. I headed south to Floyd. It was cold and when I got to Floyd I decided to stop for a little breakfast.
I rode past all of the fast food joints on the edge of town looking for a dinner, spotted a place called the "Blue Ridge Restaurant" in a smaller, older building across the street from the County Courthouse. After I parked the bike and got my gloves off, my hands were so cold that it took me several moments to get the helmet off. The food and service were excellent (Ham and Swiss omelet with mushrooms, hash browns, toast & coffee) and I asked the waitress about the road conditions on route 8 south.
She assured me that while the road had many sharp turns coming down the mountain the the surface was good. So after finding that I had no cell service with which to call Sue so she would not worry I headed south on 8 to Woolwine. At Woolwine I could have turned north on 40 (another twisty mountain road that would have taken me back to Rocky Mount) but I was enjoying the warmer temps at the lower elevation so after finding that I still had no cell service continued south on 8 until it intersected with 58 east to 220 north at Martinsville. There I had cell service, called home, and an hour later arrived back where I had started.
Total miles = 139
It was a good ride, but I think I am going to concentrate my land search in the lower elevations for now.
Oh yes - 7.12 worth of High test @3.399 per gal. (2.095 gal.). Ya pretty much got to love that kind of fuel mileage!
Bought it new in 97 new fuel tank and seat last year and finally figured out when I would have to switch the valve to reserve - 140 mi. never done that far without filling up before, in 14 years. It was a good trip. I needed it, cold and all.
Nice bike Dyson. We saw a lot of them on the road yesterday. I think there may have been some sort of convention for them, close by.
Thanks for the small solar panel tip Robin. I found a couple of new BP170 watt panels on craigslist yesterday. But hubby wants to wait and get everything together. lol Our youngest son works for an electrical supply place, and is not happy we are thinking of going with solar. We just want something dependable. Going shopping tomorrow for a generator. And thank goodness we have a fireplace for heat when needed.
Went to a plant swap yesterday. Came home with blueberry plants and a lot of cauliflower, cabbage, and kale plants. (Among a lot of other plants.) After overdoing it yesterday, and waking up to the chilly weather - this old body of mine felt like a Mack truck had run over it this morning. . Needless to say I did not get a lot planted today. lol But I did get everything watered and decided where I want to plant things.
BTW does anyone know if wild hogs are prey animals? Or will that deer fencing laid on the ground, work to keep hogs out of a garden area?
Nice plant swap haul!
Sorry, I know nothing about hogs, wild or otherwise. I haven't been around any live hogs since I let my uncle's baby piglets loose when I was 6! I still have images in my mind of him chasing those piglets. :)
I've finally finished canning tomatoes last night. 2 batches of roasted sauce with onions and garlic (one with just yellow tomatoes), a fantastic batch of really thick oven slow-roasted chunky sauce with just the cored flesh of plum tomatoes (a new recipe for me), a batch of crock-pot roasted sauce for comparison, and a mixed batch of sauce. I still have green tomatoes on the vines; they might become green tomato chutney or green tomato ketchup, but only after I make some fried green tomatoes!
We had a frost advisory last night but it looks like it missed my place. Whew. The rest of the week is forecast to be a bit warmer, and some sunshine should be back by Wednesday.
Fencing lying flat on the ground will absolutely NOT keep feral hogs out. They may be prey animals but they are smart prey animals! Hot wire works quite well though. So do dogs.
I wish we could get some wild hogs back...I can't believe I'm saying that, but the pastures are so bad, I think they've abandoned the area. I could use the meat!
Piggies and the broilers are growing quick! They are also taking most of my milk to keep fed. I'm keeping a tab on how much we're spending on extra feed, not much as of yet. I just hope the birds are ready by November.
Cricket, my heart goes out to you. Kids don't need perfect parents, they do someone, anyone, to care. It maybe a thankless task for years, but they will know 'who' was there for them when they needed it.
I've pouring all my extra time into researching homeschooling. The curriculum are so much better then our public system, from what I've seen. Makes me wonder what the heck is going with our school system these days???
Been seeing a private counselor for my son. She has been an enormous help, in helping me understand my rights as a parent concerning the school system. She's concerned my son is showing signs of aspergers. Our insurance won't cover testing so we are keeping him in school for the free testing for now, it could take a few months. The counselor is anti-homeschooling, but since aspergers can have some issues with socialization, I agree with her that we need to make sure we're doing the right thing.
Opps..gotta run. My mothers here, were packing up all the left overs from the garage sale weekend...fun, fun,lol
New garden plot is looking awesome, Darius!
what a week....Can it get any better? Nice Ride Dyson. I love VA. I don't know the roads but I know the scenery. Seen it many times.
I fertilized and watered all 470 broc, cabb, cauli plants today. That took a long while. It was Dry.
Long story short.....the sister who had the two youngest children was having marriage problem due to the kids---her husband left and said he would be back when the kids were gone in 3 months. So guess what? I have to go get them this evening. @-@.......Lord, I hope I can do this. The youngest daughter has a small bladder.--smaller than normal and she is 9 years old. That's going to be fun. The youngest son is 6 yrs old.
The pygmy goat had her baby yesterday. It was a little boy and looks just like his mama. I couldn't help myself. I picked him up and gave him a hug. SWEET
we may be getting goats this spring. if i get my way . LOL
Dh wants sheep but i really don't want sheep. i hate the noise they make .
My wife wants one ... says if we register it as a dog we will get away with livestock within city limits - I sorta doubt that will happen.
i was suppose to buy two more goats this past week but with the new temp family additions I had to put it off and buy stuff for the kids. Maybe I can afford them later. I would be buying them from someone I know and they are holding them a little longer for me. Pygmys.
If I had my way, I would have goats, chickens, dogs, and a cat. lol But my husband doesn't want any animals now. He wants to do some traveling as soon as we get our off grid power up and running. :( Oh well, maybe next year. And there are always all the wild animals we have here. lol Guess I'll have to look into some hot wire for the garden area, to keep the wild hogs out.
Cocoa_lulu - I can't believe you would want wild hogs! lol They are the most destructive animals I'll had the displeasure of knowing. lol I'm thinking we may have to get a second freezer just for pork. lol
Sweet baby Cricket! I would have hugged him too. Praying for you. I know what it's like to care for siblings children. Not easy, but they need someone who will care for them and love them. My hats off to you. You are earning your angel wings.
Darius, that roasted sauce with onions and garlic sound fantastic! Yum. I'll bring some fresh homemade pasta and a good red wine - if you care to share? lol Otherwise, would you mind sharing your recipe?
The roasted sauce is easy, and came from the DG recipe forum several years ago... cut up tomatoes, onions and garlic cloves to fill an oven pan, and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. (I use a glass pyrex 9 x 13) Some folks add peppers but peppers don't agree with me. Roast at 425º, stirring every 15 minutes until bits of slight charing show up and the juice has reduced, maybe an hour or so. Run through a food mill to remove seeds and skins. Add salt, freshly ground pepper, and any herbs if you like, to the mix while roasting.
Because of the olive oil, it has to be pressure-canned. At my altitude, that's 11 pounds, and 15 minutes at that pressure, but 20 minutes if it's really thick. Or you could freeze it.
The roasted cored, skinned and seeded paste tomatoes is my fav this year, and next year I'll probably roast them with onions and garlic although it's fantastic on its own.
Thanks for sharing Darius. I seem to have garlic, onions and tomatoes in abundance now. Think I will make up a batch of this today. I'm sure my husband will appreciate it - and it will help take the chill off the house using the oven. Win win!!
i love that sauce too.
i still make it
not much going on here
still pressing cider at the orchard
125 gallons on wendsday
i broght some home and welp.... i just couldn't get the rubber glove taste out of it ??? i guess its a mind thing ? i smell rubber gloves and cider all day then come home to drink some and welp ... it taste like rubber gloves LOL
obviously its me since we sell out every day LOL no one else says it taste like rubber gloves .
Hey Sue, you should ferment some for hard cider.
darius i think Ric is going to venture in that dept. i have 5 gallons with his name on it. He and Robyn are coming over tomorrow to work on the GH with me.
i think i have heard of some people making beer ?
i usualy keep some for cooking .
we had a heck of a day at the orchard. very busy .
something is eating my black berries ?
i may try the soap trick
i guess you hang bars of soap and the deer don't like it ?
or hang some pie tins so the move and rattle in the wind ?
so many ideas
Guess I've got the end-of-summer blues. Can't get excited about anything outside. Garden is hanging on by a thread, still tons of stuff that needs to be done around the place and I just can't find the energy.
OTOH, heard south Texas and a lot of other drought struck areas got rain. If you needed it, I hope you got some. :)
We got some; things are already showing signs of green - or I imagine that they are!
Yay, glad to see some of our TX friends got rain!!
Robin, get thee some D3, quickly! (It's cheap at Walmart; take at least 4,000 units/day, spread out over the day but taken with something fatty... milk, bacon, yogurt, egg, cheese...)
Last Friday I spread the first (of many I'll need) load of chips over the alfalfa hay where I'm sheet composting for a new garden. Thought my arms would fall off! (Of course, I had also just raked 3500 sq ft of lawn/grass clippings that morning.) I picked up some free punky firewood today to add to the hugel-edge I'm building on the lower side of the new bed. The punky stuff is still in the truck and rain is a'comin', so it can just stay there for now. There's more punky stuff I can have, but I need a helper for the long pieces.
I had a delightful day Saturday... I drove over the mountain to Dyson's. He's wiring a concise thermostat control for my new cheese "vat" (which is an electric Oster 22 lb. turkey roaster from Sam's). Susan, another DG friend, met me at Dyson's and took me out for a very early birthday lunch. We had a scrumptious shrimp grits dish, tastiest meal I've had away from home in several years!!!
Susan brought me a birthday goodie box... lots of seeds and fun stuff, and the knife block out of their camper since she already has the same one in her kitchen. (I guess they are de-commissioning the camper.) Included in the box was a pair of socks called "Air-Plus" which are aloe-infused. I've never even felt baby clothes that soft!!
We had some wonderful rain on Sunday!!! Had to run up to Cleveland (TX) in the afternoon. It was black looking on the road, started pouring down by the time we got there. Rained so heavy we could barely see the road all the way back. When we got back to our place it had barely got wet. Most of the rain missed us, but it was at least enough to water the grass, garden and all the potted plants I have!!
Tried the roasted sauce out on hubby. The house smelled divine!! I will be making it again when I have plenty of tomatoes from the garden. That recipe is a keeper!! Thanks again Darius!!
The wild hogs seem to have gone on to greener pastures, which is fine with me. Now we seem to be inundated with armadillos and raccoons. The armadillos like to dig little holes all over the place. There are at least 2 of them. And the raccoon likes to get up on my back porch. I think it's looking for food. The previous owner of this place fed them. Geesh. I swear if it isn't one thing it's another!
Latest project is making homemade fish emulsion. Anyone else ever tried making it? Oh Lord is it stinky! I added some molasses to it, and it seems to be helping a lot. Wish it was finished, so I could start using it in the garden. It needs fertilizer bad, especially the squash I have planted. And speaking of squash, has anyone ever tried growing the chayote squash? I picked up a couple of them that were starting to sprout, when I went grocery shopping last. And I am looking forward to trying something new, to me anyway. Sure hope we like them, as I understand they are very prolific. In my area they are suppose to grow on perennial vines. Guess we'll see.
Everyone who has made that roasted tomato sauce loves it, and how the house smells! I think the recipe posted on DG several years ago was either from critterologist or maybe bluekat.
I'd love to make my own fish emulsion, but I'm too far inland for a good (i.e. free) source of fish parts. A friend makes biochar they inoculate with their homemade fish emulsion. They now have a nice little business going, selling it to orchid growers.
Go easy on the fish fertilizer, or you'll end up with fantastic green growth and little flowering, esp. on tomatoes.
sounds like a good time you had with Dyson. always fun to meet up with other DGers.
Dh and i are argueing about goats vs sheep.
i say goats
he says sheep
welllllllll. he is a city boy so what does he know
i don't want sheep. no one eats lamb here so what is the point ? except for fair ,
goats can give us milk and i can make cheese and we can eat them. Butcher them ourselves since they are small enough.
don't have to sheer goats either ....
i believe i will win this one.... LOL
If you go with meat sheep, let me know. I'll come down and buy a lamb or three from you. I love mutton.
As I understand - but may be wrong - please correct me if so - goats are browsers, and sheep are grazers, so your terrain would be important.