Monday, September 27, 2010

September Update

The coyotes haven't returned, that we can tell.  I'm hoping someone else killed them, though it would be nice to know for sure so that I could sleep with both eyes (and ears) closed.

I uprooted all my tomatoes on Saturday.  I've put up 26 quarts of tomatoes (paltry, I know), and a counter is full of still-ripening ones, but there are a lot more green ones on the vines.  I hope this will encourage them to ripen!  For once, the "Old German" tomatoes I put in are producing well.  They were intriguing, before I remembered what they were.  A yellow tomato, with pink at the blossom end, extending from there in stripes toward the stem end.  Even peeled they are an interesting pink/yellow tiger appearance.  We also have a tomato plant that perplexes me.  It is a nice round fruit, but pure yellow when ripe.  The only tomato of which I bought a single plant was supposed to be Early Girl, but these are definitely not.  I wonder if the greenhouse mis-marked the plant, and if they'll have any idea what it was when I ask about it next year.  It's a nice fruit.

Goldie is still mothering 10 chicks, who are 6 weeks old today.  They probably managed to eat their own 26 quarts of tomatoes, but I've put them out of the garden.  I try to only let them out of their pen just after I've harvested, since they prefer the ripening ones.  This is the first time we've let a hen brood her own chicks, and I have no idea when they should be 'weaned!'  When they come into contact with the rest of the chickens, the other hens attack the chicks and unmercifully pluck out a beakful of feathers.  Should I just put Mama back in with the other chickens?  Is it fine to keep her with them?  How long?  I'll probably just let nature take its course, unless I run across information indicating there could be problems with that.  I do hope most of the 10 are female; for once I've got more egg-wanters than egg-producers.

Big Sister enjoyed her beautiful pet hamster for about 10 days before my mom came with her kids.  The little boy opened the cage the night they got here, and Nutmeg escaped.  He was seen the next night, but wasn't caught.  It's been 12 days since then, and we haven't seen him.  There are signs he might be about, but the live traps remain untouched.  We have seen mice, and we have a terrible dilemma.  Was the gnawed end of carrot we found from Nutmeg?  Or a mouse?  We don't dare put out killing traps for fear we'll find... well, you know. :(  How long do we wait to deal with the mice?  How long do we hope for Nutmeg's return?  I am having a harder time with this than I imagined I might.  He was the sweetest, friendliest hamster at the store, and Big Sister was really taking such good care of him.  My nephew is a handful, and probably no worse than some of mine, but I find myself still upset about this senseless loss. Big Sister is obviously more sad than I, and prays to find Nutmeg each day.

We've started to paint the house.  Or, we've started to finish painting the house?  In any case, the refinance requires that it be completed, so the paint is on hand, and we've been hard at work scraping/power washing/priming.  And we still don't know how to reach the uppermost parts...  I'm excited for it to get done and look nice.  And wow, even at 40% off, decent paint is pricey.  The walls to be Clary Sage, the trim Divine White.  Looking those up doesn't offer much by way of illustration, so I'll just have to take a photo later.  :)

The turkeys need put in the freezer, but with painting we didn't even get to thinking about it.  Not sure how that's going to go, but it's something that needs our attention soon.  Facebook updates are always so interesting this time of year...

I met a homeschool mom whose mother raises rabbits... and harvests them.. (!)  I've wanted to learn a bit more about this, and they've promised to tell us when they're going to process their next batch.  I'm more freaked out about it than my kids (who think bunnies would be fantastic to eat).  Typical weird, uncivilized homeschool field-trip:  "Load up kids, we're gonna go kill some bunnies!"  Yikes.


annie said...

I truly hope you're being sarcastic with your 'paltry' 26 quarts of tomatoes comment. We got FOUR tomatoes. Not gallons, quarts, or even pints. Just four tomatoes.

I'm so sorry for Big Sister and her hamster. That's so sad.

Sage and white sound about like the colors we'd like to paint the exterior of our house. One day. When we have time and/or money. House paint is stupidly expensive. Or, at least, more than I think I should have to pay.

I hope this comment makes it through. Did I ever reply to your email from like three months ago?

EllaJac said...

I can't believe your tomatoes are having such a hard time! I'd think they'd love that sunshine. Is it the dirt maybe?

I don't think you replied to that email... At least, I don't recall it, and can't find it in my inbox (you don't want to know how many old ones ARE in there though!).

MamaJ said...

I have to echo Annie, we got a measly FOUR tomatoes also!!! On a total of 5 vines, that's it. I was very disappointed.

Have you tried putting his cage down where he could get into it? My brother lost his hamster once and that's how we caught him, he was trying to get back to his food dish... That is a bummer, though.

Very interested in the rabbits. My grandmother raised them and we ate them quite often when I was younger. I didn't realize it until one fateful Sunday at lunch when someone said what we were eating. I think I could handle it now, haha.

annie said...

I don't know where MamaJ lives, but I went to a Florida gardening lecture at our county extension office and learned I've been gardening backwards. I knew we had different gardening schedules than the rest of the US, but I didn't realize just how different....

Apparently our summer growing season is DONE by mid-June. I've been planting our tomatoes mid-March, in the anticipation of growing them through June and July. I should be planting them in the first dang week of January and harvest will be over by early June. Then I plant them again in late August, for a fall crop. Evidently the only time we don't plant and harvest things are the months of December, January, June, July, and August. Weird, huh?