Week 26: A Different Kind of Work

As the autumn days push cool air through the valley, I can’t help but to reflect to the parallels of springtime. Comfortable days, lots of work – but also plenty of time to do it – and preparation for the upcoming year.

Our visits to the hospital garden will soon be coming to a close. When David and I visited Monday morning, there wasn’t a whole lot to do. While he picked peppers, I went around and pulled out some dead plants, picked some kale and checked the tomato vines for any late fruit. Still exhausted from the Heirloom Harvest Dinner, David and I returned home and spent the day doing small tasks. I mowed the field and vegetable garden and then moved onto channeling the creek to drain excess water. Afterwards, I checked the cabin and brought down the laundry before heading to the back yard. I gave the hedge in the back one final trim for winter and then went inside for dinner. The next day I started my morning down in the garden. I worked on pulling the last row of corn plants out. Then I took apart a bean teepee to be used for firewood. Shortly after I helped David clean carrots for winter storage. We took a quick lunch break and then I worked inside on shucking corn seed. Right before work I helped sweep out the hoop house for our upcoming amaranth harvest. The night was moderate and relaxing.

 

Wednesday, I started my day by picking amaranth. I only harvested one half of the red patch and set it in the hoop house to dry. Then I helped David bring in some of the potted tropical plants in preparation for winter. This took up most of the afternoon because its a heavy and dirty job. We also rearranged the furniture that had been displaced for the recent dining events. I got some free time and caught up on some work I had before getting dinner ready. The following day David and I worked on moving in the citrus trees in anticipation of an upcoming frost. We had a guest stop by and volunteer to help making the whole job much easier. Once we got done with that, I cut up some squash for the goats and got ready for work. The night was decent, but not as hectic as most Thursdays.

Friday, David and I spent most of the morning thrashing amaranth. Using a large bedsheet, David and I vigorously shook out the pannacles trying to extract as much seed as possible. Once we got the gross work done, David sifted through our thrashings with a screen, removing the majority of the large material. The seed was then placed on another sheet to dry before it gets one last refining. Then David and I worked on a winter squash harvest. As we hauled the squash up to the house, I was amazed how productive the plants had been. I sat around a little before work and then headed into town for a busy night. The day after, I cleaned the rest of the red amaranth patch. David went around and worked on some small projects before catching up with me for lunch. After that we spent the rest of the afternoon digging beets. Afterwards we got them cleaned up and put away for winter storage and seed saving for next year. This was a pretty large project that ate up most of my time before work. The night was decent with a large push at the end.

Sunday, David and I started the morning by cleaning up the ferns. They have been here for some time and needed a trimming and cleaning. Afterwards, I worked on husking ground cherries while David peeled pears for canning. Shortly after, we took a break for lunch and then I worked on some items for dinner. I prepared a red wine reduction for a braise I’m making next week. After that, I put some goat bones on to simmer to make into stock. Korbin joined us early to work on tobacco curing and then joined us for dinner. We enjoyed the company late into the night. As the sun set, cool autumn rains drizzled through the night.

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