Yesterday, our Sunday family day consisted of harvesting our potatoes. The plants were ambushed by beetles once the babe made his appearance (and the healing and care of him trumped all garden goods), but the harvest was decent regardless.
I still get a real kick out of the multi-species crew that turns up every time we work near the house : the head cat, our beloved Harvey, two of the three hens, and the humans.
Maybe not my weight in potatoes, but certainly 3/4 of it. It’ll probably see us through to next year’s harvest.
By the time we got to the potatoes last year, the ground was good and frozen and snow covered (see below). We’re three weeks earlier this time around, which is making the adult folk feel pretty good about where we’re at in our winter readiness.
I’ve been hard on the garden and myself as gardener this year, but really, doing the tally of what we’ve managed to eat fresh and stock pile and preserve, I have to admit that the planning, planting and early weeding efforts certainly weren’t in vain.
We have all the potatoes, the carrots and the beets, we’ll need. The pumpkin, probably all the blanched spinach, kale, chard and beans, and certainly all of the apple sauce. Thanks to all the kind souls who helped make this happen.
Having worked in the field of anti-poverty/poverty alleviation in urban settings, there’s something really surprising, and really rich, about living below the poverty line on a farm (especially when you’re doing so with someone who totally knows the ropes, and when you have access to capital and are able to become indebted to set this place up to provide for ourselves with more ease in the years to come). It isn’t easy by any stretch (and the romanticization of farming irks me to no end), but this is certainly more comfortable than living below the poverty line in a city.
With our dear family dairy cow Ursula having just calved, we are back into fresh cheese and yoghurt making. (Y’a un p’tit air de famille, n’est-ce pas?) The calf drinks to her heart’s content, and we still have enough milk to start making butter to boot.
What feels like the biggest hurdle at this point, farm food wise, after building a small greenhouse and cracking the brassica code next season, is eggs : getting a few more laying hens, but especially kitten-proofing the coop. As I was angrily trying to jam every hole in the coop last night (the hens themselves get quite upset when these little rascals sneak in and crack eggs), every place I looked, there seemed to be a small kitten.
And now to focus on bringing in the fire wood, putting the garden to rest and getting the word out about the incubator farm we’re launching for next season. If you know anyone who might be interested, please spread the word. We are eager to have more people living and making an income on the land. Open house this Sunday (November 1st, two to five).