As the air starts to chill, I am preserving the last crops of the season. In the summer, I freeze tomatoes, zucchini, and basil pesto. In the fall, I dry peppers, garlic, and herbs. My herb garden is brimming with oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint. Autumn is last call to harvest these frost-tender herbs and preserve them before a hard frost. I like to dry the fragrant leaves and crumble them into jars, making my own homegrown spices.
Preserving herbs couldn’t be easier: Just bag it! Harvest stems and leaves of herbs and put them in a large paper grocery bag.
To read the rest of my article that was published in the Frederick News Post, click here:
On the Farm: Homegrown Culinary Spices
Pask’s eggs hatched!
They hatched on Sat Oct 15.
There are 5 ducklings. So cute!
They learned to swim the next day. See how Pask is lifeguard?
Here is an interesting fact:
When ducklings are hatched, the mother gives them waterproofing oils.
If ducklings are not hatched by their mother (but in an incubator), they will not be waterproof until they grow their adult feathers.
Photos and blog by Jonah
This is Pask.
She is a Muscovy duck.
She is sitting on eggs.
Duck eggs take 35 days to hatch.
She should be hatching in about a week or two.
Stand by for the hatching blog.
–photo and blog by Jonah
The ducks are getting big. So soon they will need to move to their permanent house that is going to be in our pond’s fenced-in area. The duck house is currently being built next to our barn (which is not near the pond). We put it on metal tubes that are going to be used like skis to transport it. The duck house has no floor so when you move it, the grassy floor is clean again. I’ll be adding a door and white plastic for walls. Unlike chickens and turkeys, ducks sleep on the ground or in the water. When our ducks grow up, they will need somewhere to lay their eggs. You want your ducks to lay their eggs where you can find them (preferably somewhere easy to get) so you have to make nest boxes if you want to find their eggs. Nest boxes for ducks should be 12” x 14”. They should be inside the house, dark, and far away from their food and water.
We just bought ducklings and they are very cute. We have four Indian Runners, two Cayugas, four Golden Layers and one Magpie. The ducks are one week old now. The ducks currently live in a little shed that I originally made for broody chickens to raise their chicks in. I am making a permanent house that is going to be in our pond’s fenced-in area.
Last week sure was windy! It ripped the skin right off our hoophouse! In a big wind, the plastic ripped off and flipped off the roof just like a huge page in a book might turn. In one flick like it was nothing. We are grateful that we had planned to replace the plastic in a couple months, so we already had the new plastic on hand. Phil called our farming friends down the road, the Horst family of Jehovah Jireh Farm. They came right over that evening and helped prepare for the job, then arrived early the next morning to help pull the plastic over the hoophouse framework. Its a big job, and a big wind can rip that plastic or take us all for a kite ride. But we had ropes secured over the plastic to hold it in place, and many hands to keep it snug until it was tacked down. Ever so grateful to our neighbor and CSA member, Nathan Wilkes, my brother Ron White, and the Horst family. With a little help from our friends, we were able to save all the trays of seedlings we have growing in our hoop.
Jehovah Jireh Farm is currently accepting orders for their fresh pastured chicken, on-farm pickup of fresh chicken all summer long until Thanksgiving. And turkeys in November, too. Good people to support, and not just because they were SO VERY AWESOME to help us out last week. 🙂
The hoophouse is chock full of seedling trays for the upcoming CSA season–kale, chard, kohlrabi, lettuce (three kinds), broccoli, cabbage, chinese cabbage. What else? Peppers and eggplant (4-5 kinds each), tomatoes (15 varieties!), basil and other herbs. And more! Peas, beans, carrots, fennel, parsley. And more. That’s just off the top of my head. And what else? There are more veggies to start in the next couple months. Turnips have already been grown up in trays and planted out into the field. Onions, garlic and scallions are already planted out. We are busy getting ready for some great eating. Join us? CSA shares are available for full and half shares.
These micro greens are thinnings from the hoop house. Kohlrabi, chard, broccoli, cabbage
Cake on the farm! We can do that, because it had our beets in it! So it was farm-grown cake, right?
Liz volunteers on the farm but she works in her kitchen. She has a cake business called Another Slice of Cake. She brought an incredible chocolate beet cake to the farm today to celebrate Phil and Ron’s birthdays. The balance of beet and chocolate was lovely; you could see the red tint from the beet and taste the sweet fruitiness that it added to the chocolate. (This one happened to be gluten-free, as well.) Thanks, Liz, it was so delicious and beautiful! Really, you need to check out her website at some of the incredible decorated cakes she makes. Like the Bassett Hound cake that is on the front of her website. The woman makes sculptures out of cake and icing.
And since I know you will be asking, here is the recipe. She replaced the flour with gluten-free oat flour and coconut flour to make it gluten-free.
Happy birthday, Phil and Ron! (We’re still celebrating their September birthdays.)