It's truly difficult for me to believe that the month of October has arrived.
Getting settled in our new home, painting, tending the vegetables, and building out the new garden beds for next season . . . it's been a whirlwind. I like nesting, and I'll admit that it's been a bit hard sometimes to pull myself away from the decorating and organizing of our home back out to the weeds. But every time I get outside, I remember why I love farming . . .
We planted about 20 pepper plants, 12 tomato plants, and 8 eggplants, and a smattering of basils, Holy and otherwise. I was so grateful that we got such a good crop--though we had to chase away the chipmunks from the tomatoes, without much success. Still we harvested many, many pounds of delicious vegetables, ate them fresh, grilled 'em up, and preserved them for the winter.
Friends and family from near and far (CT, NY, DC, VA, FL and Amsterdam!) visited, making our new house a home. We went to the town beach, hung out on the back deck, even went all the way to Essex for gluten-free fried clams. What a treat! Go to Woodman's, people, if you've never been. Absolutely worth it.
We got chicks, who grew into chickens. Really fast. They "graduated" from their brooder to the outside coop just last week, after they had reached six weeks of age. It took a night or two of shining the flashlight in their roost, but they eventually got the idea, and now put themselves to bed right at dusk. And we adopted a lovely mouser named Jasper, who's bringing me presents of dead mice on a regular basis. The thing is, it actually makes me really happy. I'm hoping he'll be a force against the chipmunks, voles, and moles that have laid claim to this place. And chase away the rabbits, too.
I canned salsa and diced tomatoes, roasted and skinned and froze poblano and anaheim peppers, cooked up and froze great big batches of bangan bharta (curried eggplant and tomatoes) and creamed chipotle kale, and picked quarts of raspberries to freeze alongside the peaches from our local orchard. We're drying apple slices in the dehydrator as I write.
And I've been playing around with pork, cooking up a scrumptious meal of slow-cooked pork jowls on top of homemade nixtamalized corn tortillas. Probably one of my best meals ever. And I made headcheese. You take a pig's head and simmer it for a few hours, then remove all the meat and put into a little terrine. Then you simmer the stock another couple of hours; let it cool a bit, and pour a small amount of liquid over the meat, just to cover. Refrigerate. The stock turns to gelatin, and, voila, headcheese. Delish. Plenty of adventures here at . . . well, we still don't have a name for this place yet. (Suggestions welcome!)
It's been a busy four months! But now the winds are shifting, the temperatures are dropping, and I'm feeling a pull back here, to this blog. Someone told me in the last few years that we shouldn't think of ourselves having a "crazy, busy life" but, rather, a "full" life. I like that. Life certainly is full, and I am so grateful to be able to experience so much beauty and laughter, even with so much sweat and so many tears. As I exclaimed to my friend Eileen, trying to explain my aching love for the world, "We get to experience all this . . . and tomatoes, too!"
And now there is yet another a new adventure. I'm starting a proofreading business, called "Another Pair of Eyes," to help financially support the farm. I'd like to build good fencing, a small barn, and a greenhouse, and all that takes capital. I've decided that the best way I can do that is to rely on my strengths in writing and editing, and offer out my services as a proofreader. The homepage for this website is now dedicated to my new business, instead of the blog, which now can be found among the menu options on the right of the page. Take a look!
I hope you'll remember me if you ever have a document you'd like to have proofread, and I hope you will suggest my services to your friends and colleagues. Thanks for your support and for spreading the word!