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These last many weeks on the farm, week ending October 5th

Updated: Oct 7, 2018

Oh my! We have been so busy with the harvest, dealing with frost and all of the other fall tasks that we haven't had the chance to share what's been going on lately. Forgive us?

We start out this post discussing crab apples. We have a vintage crab apple tree and it produces decently sized crab apples. We make everything from spiced crab apples to juice to jelly and butter. This year, we decided to make crab apple jelly and crab apple butter. We have a very limited supply, so if you see us at a market or craft show selling these items, stop by and snatch some up!

Crab apples sitting in their wash water.

The garlic cured very nicely, and we have about three pounds or so available for sale. Stock up now, as supplies are limited!

Purple stripe garlic piled on a screen, waiting to be cured.

Cat family members continue to "help" us around the farm. We love them so much, even if they can get in the way sometimes. Fudgie the cat really liked laying out in the warm sun by our pretty deck flowers. She is certainly hamming it up for the camera!

Ah, sunshine on a warm summer's evening. And flowers to boot!

The honey flow was not great at all this year, but we were able to harvest some honey. You can find it for sale at 5th Grant Boutique in Wabasha, Minnesota, and Bittersweet Bakery & More in Plum City, Wisconsin. We are completely changing our beekeeping practices next year in the hopes of a much better honey flow and healthier bees!

The limited honey supply, ready to get sent out to the boutique and bakery!

The weather this year was excellent for tomatoes! We only grow heirloom tomatoes from organic seed. We had a wonderful crop and our freezer is full of frozen tomatoes to make soups, chili, etc. Yum!

The cherry tomato plants did amazingly well this year!

A variety of heirloom tomatoes - aren't they beautiful?

We enjoyed a few dozen beautiful sunflowers this year as well!

A new adventure this year is growing and painting pumpkins. It's a fun endeavor!! The painting process is time-consuming, so we are hoping to re-engineer the process for next year. We sold our pumpkins at a craft show and outside of the bakery. Thank you to the local Plum City community for their support in purchasing our pumpkins! We plan on growing a lot more next year and having more painted pumpkins all ready for you next fall.

A pumpkin almost ready to be picked and painted!

Rusty likes to help supervise the pumpkin painting process. Are we doing okay so far, Rusty?

The laying hens have been enjoying the extra-large zucchini from our garden, and will clean the entire zucchini out to the rind. What a great chicken treat!

Yum - a zucchini!

Since our current laying hens are slowing down and will be done laying eggs soon, we ordered a new batch of adorable baby chicks! They are such cute little "peepers". We have 15 Ameraucana chicks and 10 Black Australorp chicks. That means we'll have a lot of eggs for sale starting in the spring, and we can't wait! We have all the necessary permits all ready to go, so we are excited for the opportunity to sell eggs at the local farmers markets.

The new peeps. Aren't they adorable? I wish they stayed fluffy forever.

We were given the unpleasant task of preparing the gardens for a hard freeze. It is always so frustrating in the fall, as typically we will receive one night of a frost/freeze, then the temps will be consistently mild for weeks after. If the plants (vegetables, flowers, etc.) die from the frost/freeze, then we lose the potential yields from those plants. This year we covered green beans, zucchini and summer squash with blankets to protect them from the frost. We did end up having some damage from the cold temperatures, but it doesn't seem to be enough to stunt the plants too much. Our goal is to eat as much as we can from the garden as late in the fall as possible.

We harvested all of our dry beans, as there was no way to cover the trellised plants to protect from frost.

Rusty and Reuben hold down the blankets we will use to cover up green beans. They are such big helpers!

The pre-freeze haul. Yes, the wheel barrow is mostly filled with heirloom tomatoes.

Today we sold painted pumpkins, crab apple butter, crab apple jelly, heat embossed cards/gift tags and garlic at a local craft sale. The weather was freezing and cloudy, but we were happy so many people stopped out and supported our small farm!

Pumpkins, cards, crab apple goodness and garlic for sale!

Well, that's our update. I'm tired just thinking about all of these events and activities. Hopefully the next few updates are calmer, but who knows! The farm keeps chugging along and we are just along for the ride. Have a wonderful week!

Reuben is tired from reading this blog and all his mail. Poor kitty!

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