Wow. Another long break. I hadn't intended it to be so, but alas.... We got the SB off to school in NOVA. Then back for a long weekend, then off again. Give me strength. These transitions just about kill me, so I am hoping against hope that this is the last year of it.
Last evening I harvested the rest of the main crop of potatoes. I didn't mean to, but once I started, it was so darned much fun. The soil was so lovely I pretty much dug them all by hand, without gloves. And what I kept thinking the whole time was "Dang, I need some chickens and/or ducks to come and follow me around because there are some juicy lookin' grubs in here" And there were. Fatties. Nasty grey critters. Maybe Japanese Beetle larvae, but other things too. Large and small. Crickets and grasshoppers were hidden in the straw, there were GIGANTIC worms, teeny little ant like things and all kinds of delicious variety. Chick Collective, beware. I have decided that the best of intentions are getting us all exactly no where in terms of chickens. I am hatching a plan to motivate. Stay tuned.
I filled a 3 gallon nursery pot full of potatoes. They are "curing" in the back of the SB's truck. I need to bring them inside in the morning so that they don't start to turn green. I have been eating some of the earlier harvest. These little things are super. They have a stout little skin that is toothy and insides get soft and creamy when you cook them. I roasted some with a chicken and then made and Indian type dish with them tonight. Boil about 1/2 - 3/4 pound of potato bits until just tender, drain and set aside. Saute one onion and 2 cloves of garlic with a 1 inch chunk of ginger (all chopped). Add about a teaspoon each of ground cumin and coriander, chili powder to taste, a few saffron threads, 1/2 t. turmeric and a teaspoon or two of curry powder or garam masala. Fry briefly then add about one cup chopped tomato and either 2-3 cups of fresh spinach or 10 oz or so of thawed squeezed frozen spinach. Warm through, add potatoes and a little water or broth and stir together. Serve with plain yogurt or cucumber raita.
In other exciting news, over the long weekend, the SB and I went to see some ducks. We had a delightful tour of Split Rock Farm from what turned out to be a neighbor of ours that works there. She showed us their amazing and beautiful chickens, and the ducks that were supposed to be runner ducks but they got shipped the wrong thing. Turned out they got buff ducks instead. They are still cute and they are garden loving critters that hunt slugs and eat rotten tomatoes. And not so rotten tomatoes that have the ill fortune of being low on the vine. I am sure they would love the beetle larvae as well. This new neighbor is interested in having chickens - the collective grows. AND she hooked me up with someone who DOES actually have runner ducks and who has invited moi to come and see the new hatchlings. I am afraid to go. I am afraid that I will accidentally bring some home. They might sneak into my purse or pockets or get under the seats in my car. Or something. They are wiley those little ducklings. They can hide just about anywhere. Like the basement. Or my bedroom. Or in the cab of the truck out back. It is soooo dangerous. I will probably go anyway and just make sure that I don't have any pockets or cash.
Tomorrow I am going to the Central Virginia Beekeepers meeting. I am going to be reminded what I need to do to get my hive ready for the winter. There I will also meet with my bee mentor and talk about times to put my wire strung frames into the hive. Which will be SUPER exciting. My bee mentor pretty much rocks.
AND, AND this weekend, I am going to a Harvest Festival. And I am going to attend workshops. And I am going to learn about winter gardening and growing garlic and onions (my garlic arrives in two weeks), and about growing fruit and no till planting. This is all the more exciting because I thought I was going to have to work this weekend, but the event was canceled thanks to a possibility of a hurricane, which may, if it comes, impact the harvest festival as well, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. Oh, and did I mention that it is free? At least the majority of it and I am not doing any of the parts that cost $.
Cho-girl and I are going to the Fiber Festival the first weekend in October. Tag along if you like.