Happenin’s At Hunny-Bunny
Harvest time is once again upon us and the easy livin’ days of summer are rapidly coming to an end. The angle of the Sun has changed in the way it sheds it’s life giving light and the hens, albeit very old by chicken standards, have already begun to decrease their laying. I’m now averaging one or two eggs every other day. This is a function of the changing angle and the increasingly shorter days.
The garden this year is a surprising paradox. While the greater majority of the nation suffers through record breaking drought rivaled only by the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, our area has been getting a phenomenal 2 days of rain followed by abundant sunshine. This pattern has been consistent since mid or late July, resulting in an explosion of wild growth both vegetable and weed. So much so has this strong growth been that I’ve been fighting a losing battle against weeds for several weeks. When I cleared the garden of the spring vegetable crops, it seemed the weeds not only took over but flourished within days if not hours. Also as I inherited a bunch of seed from a cherished fellow gardener who moved from the area last summer, I planted four or five different varieties of both summer and winter squash. This has resulted in an overgrown tangle of squash vines covering most everything in the garden including the chicken yard. The tomatoes are also quite a jumble of plants competing mightily with the squashes and weeds. Green growth has proliferated at the cost of fruit, but there are some tomatoes to be had. The cucumbers although planted in early spring after frost have only recently come into their own producing a good and consistent crop of cukes. Unfortunately, however, only the pickling variety is producing as the Marketmores have done rather poorly. Meantime, the cabbages were mediocre, most especially the red cabbage. I’ve decided after several years of growing red cabbages to not try them again. Their heads are too small to be of value, considering their long season. Anyhow, we did get three medium to large size heads of standard cabbage and we made sauerkraut out of them. They are now in the pickling crock in the basement “fermenting” before we can them in the next 10 days to 2 weeks. My estimate is that we will get 12 to 15 pints of kraut from this batch, which will get us through January or so.
Meantime, the honey is bottled and ready. I’ve ordered labels which should arrive in the next week. Any of the readership who lives close by can buy a variety of sizes ranging from 3oz. to a quart, quantities are limited. Keep in mind that my honey is all natural; I use neither medication on my hives or pasteurize the honey which only ruins the nutritive value. It is only screened to remove wax and debris from the hive. Just let me know what you need and I will see that you receive it.
Soon the season will be over, I’m inclined to release the hens into the garden starting next week after I harvest the remaining veggies; I will also be harvesting the herbs in the herb garden to begin drying and processing culinary and medicinal herbs. Wow! It seems this summer was the fastest on record! Didn’t the kids just get out of school?
On another note, I will be attending the Rebuilding Christianity Conference in Dulles Airport Marriott in Virginia this weekend. It promises to be a great conference with a host of speakers responding to the economic and social ills of our time from a truly Catholic standpoint. My next posting will give an overview of their thoughts and insights.
Remember to keep up the family Rosary for the Conversion of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.