Archive for September, 2010

Laundry room addendum

September 30, 2010

I “convinced” Dan to do one more thing in the laundry room:  replace the ugly ceiling fixture in the

washer-dryer alcove.  I loathed the previous fixture, which was successful in running away from its ugly family in the dining room.

(I love the dining room with the exception of those awful fixtures. Hmmm,  I need to have a dinner party again very soon.  Look at the ceiling fixture on the left.  Doesn’t it look like it is trying to run away from the parent fixture?  What was that about?  Sigh.  Someday I’ll replace those fixtures….)

But we did manage to get rid of the laundry room orphan.  The fixture we chose is nothing fancy, just cleaner looking, more utilitarian.

So. Much. Better.

I think this project is done.

Harvest Monday: Look, a cucumber!

September 27, 2010

We picked quite a lot from the garden this week, with a freakishly warm and humid spell spurring ripening tomatoes, a flush of new squash blossoms on, and a final cucumber! That was a surprise.

Let me just say again how much I love my Costata Romanesca zucchini.  The poor thing looks so ratty, most of it half dead from powdery mildew and old age, yet it continues to grow new leaves and produce fruit.  I picked 2 squash from it this week, and there are at least three more which no doubt, will continue to grow this week.  Fabulous.  To be fair, the yellow crookneck and patty pan squash are doing the same, but somehow, have not won my heart like their counterpart the zucchini has.

We went through and picked a lot of the cherry tomatoes I had been ignoring.  WIth the recent rains a lot had cracked, but I amuse myself by tossing them into the hens.  I couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn if I tried, but I managed to hit Dan once and the corner fencepost birdhouse at least three times when doing this, sigh.  There are still lots of green tomatoes on the vines, maybe some will ripen.  I don’t think I’ll pull the vines and let the toms ripen on the vine, although I hear it works.  I just don’t have a good space for that experiment.  Any that look like they’ve begun ripening by next weekend I’ll bring in the house to ripen them up for fresh eating.

The ripe tomatoes were roasted and run through the tomato press for sauce.  I used some of the roasted tomato sauce in a big batch of homemade enchilada sauce, wow is it good.  Spicy, but delicious.  I froze 8 portions and we’ll have the rest this week with some squash enchiladas.

I picked all the peppers, deciding there was little chance the remaining green ones would ripen to red before a frost.  The Carmen peppers were the clear winner this year.  I will definitely grow them every year from now on.  They are prolific and tasty.  Thanks Johnny!  I will also continue to grow the Black Hungarian chile peppers.  These were still producing a few chiles even though they were completely overrun by the Sungold and Matt’s Wild cherry tomatoes.  Pretty, hot, and prolific gets my vote.  I’m hoping I have enough in the fridge to try my hand at making Cowboy Candy, aka candied pickled chiles.

Dan went through the pole beans and picked all he could find.  We will use these as shell beans in a meal this week.  I have some bush beans slowly growing and setting beans, I hope we get at least one picking from them before a frost hits us.  This week’s count follows.

Herbs 10 oz.
S. Squash 2 lbs 4 oz.
Peppers 2 lbs. 7 oz. (more peppers than summer squash!)
Tomatoes 7 lbs 5 oz.
Cucumbers 12 oz.

This puts me at a hair over 14 lbs. for the week.

The value of my harvests throughout the season stands at $1829.02. Expenses remained the same at $305.54, bringing the net value to $1,543.28. Total pounds grown this summer 542 lbs.

I still have yet to weigh the winter squash and pumpkins, and there is still more delicious home-grown produce awaiting dinner.  YUM!

This post is part of Daphne’s Harvest Monday series published on her blog Daphne’s Dandelions.  Check it out and see who’s eating what across the land.

I got mail

September 26, 2010

Oh look, a package!  It’s from Granny!

Granny kindly sent me a share of her Bag of Crap she won during a recent WOOT-off.  (Don’t feel bad, Granny showed me up too, as I’d never heard of WOOT either.  She’s one hip Granny.)

One of the **ahem** items in her BOC was a numeric keypad.  (I was tempted to say turds but thought it might be crass.  What do you think?)

Anyway, I suggested that I’d pay postage for the keypad because one of Dan’s least favorite parts of his job is entering the 9 million student ID numbers into the various databases they use for the school’s technology program.  I thought a numeric keypad would make the data entry easier for him, so I offered to purchase it from Granny.

She very kindly sent to me via the US Postal Service, and didn’t even want me to pay for it!  What a Granny!

So Dan and I picked up a little treat for Granny which I will put in the mail tomorrow. A taste of Maine, as t’were.

Dan used the keypad last week and reported things went much faster with the keypad.  Yay!

Thanks, Granny!  Yet another reason that I love blogging!

Last of the tomatoes

September 26, 2010

We picked 5 lbs. 10 oz. of tomatoes this afternoon.  All the cherries are roasting in the oven with any that were ripe enough, a few are on the counter to ripen up, and a few more are in the garden.  I can’t decide whether to bring them in or leave them.

We also picked more squash, and the rest of the peppers.  There is still more squash, lots of chard, kale and leeks and our second planting of green beans and peas are just beginning to produce.  The beans look a bit pale, I suspect the cool nights and relative lack of sun does not make them very happy.  Next year I need to start them 1-2 weeks earlier.  The peas look fine but are not very productive.  Delicious, but sparse.

In the hoophouse I have some gorgeous lettuce and arugula, and greens starting for next year.  I still need to plant spinach for the first spring greens.

We brought all the winter squash and pumpkins into the shed, (and had a little photo shoot with the pumpkins) where we will store it until it gets to cold, then it will go to Kyle’s old room for winter storage.  What we don’t use or give away we will share with the hens.

Next week it will be time to start pulling the plants, but there are still a few patty pan and zucchini so I decided to let them wait as I needed to get to work roasting tomatoes and experimenting with the enchilada sauce.

Eggs

September 23, 2010

Claire at Whispering Acres in Iowa has a good post about commercial egg factories today.

Above and below

September 21, 2010

The new ceiling is a great compliment to the new floor!

The installer arrived at about 7:45 am and was finished by 11.  Dan and I are really pleased with it.

Now I need to re-paint that green bureau, and re-glue the dovetail drawers.  Sigh.  No rest for the wicked.

The window

September 21, 2010

I gave the window in the washer/dryer alcove another coat this morning.  It looks so good.  Why did it take so long to get this project done?  I find it astonishing that we bought those cabinets at a tag sale for $10, and they look as though we built them for the space.

Ready and waiting

September 20, 2010

The laundry room is empty of furniture and appliances, awaiting the flooring installer tomorrow.  Dan moved most of the furniture out before I got home from work, then the two of us moved the washer and dryer.  The freezer came out yesterday, when we also defrosted it and re-organized the contents.

Dan went around the room one last time with the caulk gun and sealed up any leaky areas, and I took advantage of the absence of the washer and dryer to polyurethane the trim of the window behind those two appliances.

While applying the poly, I realized that there was no trim under neath the window and that the area was a big draft waiting to happen.  We added more insulation and caulk, then a piece of trim under the sill.  I’m glad I decided to poly the window or we would probably have never noticed.

Dan commented tonight that the room was becoming more airtight.  He noticed the door into the shed (gray door) took more effort to close tightly.  We tested his theory by opening the door into the house (wooden door) while closing the shed exit door.  When the other door was open, the shed door closed much more easily.  All that work to weatherize this room will be worth it, I hope.

Tomorrow night all the appliances and furniture will go back in, and it will be done.  Whoo hoo!

Harvest Monday: Pumpkins and Squash

September 20, 2010

The garden is slowing down with the cool temps we have had of late.  Last night, temps were in the low 40s — tomatoes are not happy with that.  The summer squash, though, is still hanging in there, last night we had a lovely sauteed squash medley to compliment a lobster dinner.  Yum!

This week, though, it has been all about the pumpkins and winter squash.  I’ve harvested all of them now, and just need to pull the vines.  They are all curing in the hoop house.  I have yet to weigh them, but it has been a terrific harvest!

4 Winter Luxury pumpkins
9 Small Sugar pumpkins
8 Waltham Butternut squash
3 Futsu Black Squash (with 1 more on the vine I’m hoping will ripen)

I still have 1-2 Small Sugar pumpkins on the vines.  I can’t imagine they will ripen, but I’ve been too busy with other projects to pull the plants so I’m leaving them be.  I am really curious about the Futsu Black Squash — it supposedly has a very nutty, almost hazelnut like flavor.  Doesn’t that sound delicious?

While harvesting the squash, I also spied 2 cucumbers on the Marketmore 76 plant that I had given up for dead.  It lives, and provides cucumbers!

The rest of this weeks harvest:

Herbs 12 oz.
Squash 9.75 lbs.
Peppers 1.5 lbs.
Tomatoes 12 lbs 1 oz.
Snap Peas 8 oz.
Cucumbers 14 oz.

I still have lots of Swiss chard, kale, basil, parsley and amazingly, quite a few summer squash in the garden.  There are lots of green tomatoes but they are not enjoying the cooler temps and I can’t imagine they will ripen.  Oh, and lots of cherry tomatoes, too, but I’ve been too busy to comb through the jungle and pick them.  I need to get to the basil but have been right out straight.  Maybe later this week when the laundry room floor is done.  The final tally:

Total pounds: 528.13 lbs.

The week’s harvest tally brings the value of my harvests throughout the season to $1772.89. Expenses remained the same at $305.54, bringing the net value to $1,467.35. With winter squash selling for $1.50 a lb., I imagine I will definitely net over $1500 worth of vegetable this season, and I still have some winter green growing in the hoop house.  I think gardening has proved worth my time and effort!

As the summer winds down here in the northeast, see who else is still harvesting at Daphne’s Dandelions Harvest Monday series, where gardeners around the world gather to brag or commiserate, as the case may be.

Ceiling done

September 18, 2010

We finished the laundry room ceiling today. The little pneumatic nailer makes things so much easier!  Don’t ask me why we did not use it for much of this project.

I added trim while Dan mowed the lawn (which looked like a hayfield after the recent rain we’ve had).  We had lots of bits and pieces of molding from various past projects, so I used the pieces on small areas.  It is a utility room, after all.  Might’s well utilize.

It looks so nice all finished.  The floor will go in on Tuesday.  I can hardly wait!

I don’t know when this part of the house was constructed.  Dan and I partitioned this shed off, insulated, and added heat on 2003 and just never finished the details.  I think when the floor is done, this will be the first room in our house I will consider completed.  The sewing room is almost done, but we still only have a subfloor, despite the fancy paintwork.  One room down, 7 rooms to go.


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