With our entire gardens harvested, we switched energy to canning up the produce as quickly as possible. Those twelve big crates of tomatoes on the enclosed back porch are beginning to ripen quite quickly. I am still seeding a few remaining varieties of new tomatoes. One of our favorites this year for sheer beauty is Cosmic Eclipse. It’s a large, round, plum-sized tomato with awesome color and taste. Another “black” tomato, it starts out pure black then ripens to dark red with a lower half green with beautiful stripes — a true gem! We also love Purple Russian, a “black” large paste tomato and Black Dragon, a smaller paste tomato. All of these “black” tomatoes have amazing taste and the dark color of the meat adds a wonderful rich color to the tomato sauce which is thick as can be.
I got a dozen pints of pizza sauce canned up along with fifteen pints of enchilada sauce. Then Ashley and I canned up fourteen quarts of huge Kuroda carrots, cut in nice big pieces — just right to put into a roasting pan with a big roast, potatoes, and onions. Today I’m doing a medium-chunky salsa with another batch of ripe paste tomatoes along with peppers from our hoop house and big fat onions from the garden. This is the first year ever that I’ve run out of salsa, so you can bet I’ll put up lots real soon. I do several different flavors, including multi-colored salsa with black beans and corn. This salsa is simply a corn relish with added tomatoes and hot peppers, but boy, is it ever good!
Work continues every weekend on David and Ashley’s cabin in the woods. Since David doesn’t get home until after dark, it’s the only time he can work on it, but slowly, it is taking shape. Some of you may wonder why on earth he’s building it so high on concrete piers. They can’t afford a basement so not only will having the bottom of the floor up so high, making it easier to install insulation and plywood protection against rodents and squirrels getting in it, but they’ll end up with lots of covered storage under the cabin for firewood, equipment and tools. Not enough money for a garage or shed, either!
David managed to drill and install the steel brackets which were bolted to the concrete piers then he and Will started setting the 6″x12″ support beams for the floor joists. Those beams are heavy and it took all they had to lift and position them into place. There are still several to go, but slowly the cabin is taking shape. Meanwhile, Will is using “spare” time to cut floor joists and 2″x6″s for the cabin walls.
We had our friend, Tony, out yesterday to draw blood to pregnancy test our cows and heifers. So far we’ve only had one calf from our borrowed bull but are hoping there’s just a delay before more cows calf. This was the first time we used our new cattle chute and head gate to work cattle and we were pleased at how the whole thing works. Just a couple of gates to install so we can squeeze cows into the chute but it’s a work in progress. Just like several things around the homestead. That’s life… — Jackie