October on the Homestead

Finley munching on a carrot

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted about activities on our little homestead.  Even though we had plenty of rain in the spring and early summer (too much?) our garden didn’t do so great.  We had some green beans to freeze but not many.  We had peas to eat but most of them ended up tasting almost bitter.  Finley didn’t mind – we caught him eating the peas he could reach through the garden fence.  That and carrots.  He looooves carrots.

Finley munching on a carrot

If we’re anywhere near the carrot patch he’ll be whining because he wants one.  Little Chick loves them too.  Straight from the garden.  It’s a wonder we have any left, but at this point, that’s all that is left in the garden.  The carrots were the one crop that exceeded expectations.

carrots in our raised beds

Rather pathetic looking at this point.  Papa’s waiting for the first hard frost (this week?) before he pulls what is left of the carrots.

The other bed had the beans/peas and tomatoes.  We had enough tomatoes to do one small batch of canning (a few pints) plus the tomatoes we ate right away.  I was able to snag a Sun Sugar cherry tomato plant this year; I think I “stole” it from a friend.  There’s one vendor at farmer’s market in town that brings those wonderful plants each year.  This is the first year I bought one (the only one he had that day), and then I learned that my friend Lucy tried to buy them and they were sold out.  Oops.  They’re a sweet cherry tomato but yellow-orange in color when they are ripe.  Most of those never made it anywhere near the door of the house!

We also planted a few beets this year.  Not enough to process, but they made a good dent on what Papa had to buy to make his pickled beets.  He didn’t need many as he’s the only one in the house that eats them.

ASimpleHomestead.com - chickens molting

Most of the chickens are molting which means between that and the shorter and cooler days, our egg production is down significantly.  I think we have 3 dozen sitting in the refrigerator right now but that’s odd.  A couple of weeks ago we were scrambling trying to fill “orders” and were left with one egg in the house (until the next day).

ASimpleHomestead.com - fall leaves

The leaves on the black walnut trees are almost entirely gone after the wind we had this past weekend.  Unfortunately, since they are black walnut leaves, we need to make sure they get raked up and pushed somewhere where they won’t kill the plants and foliage we like!

I forgot to mention in our fall activities post yesterday that we had one more activity this past weekend.  We don’t really do much for Halloween, but there are a few fall activities that are just fun – like decorating pumpkins.  Last year Papa and Little Chick bought a pumpkin, carved him, and dubbed him “Scary Jack”.  This year, Papa thought we should try and roast the pumpkin instead of letting it rot outside.  That’s what my family always did.  So we printed off a template, pasted him to our 2014 pumpkin, and let our daughter paint away.

ASimpleHomestead.com - pumpkin painting

She chose the red color.  This pumpkin has been named Olivia.

ASimpleHomestead.com - pumpkin painting

Papa didn’t think of it until later, but we have glow-in-the-dark paint and should have painted using that instead!  I may try and put a light layer on top of the red paint.  The glow-in-the-dark dries almost translucent so the red should stand out during the day and look a bit spooky at night.  In a few weeks, Olivia will “disappear” into the oven to get roasted for pies and other delicious baked goods and her seeds will be roasted for a wonderful snack.

4 Replies to “October on the Homestead”

  1. Painting instead of carving is a great idea! I always hate to see (and smell) pumpkins rotting away, not even fit for the hens to eat.
    Next year I think I’ll plant a hill of pumpkins, along with my winter squash 🙂

    1. I’d love to have a hill of pumpkins or any other vine plant, but we have limited gardening space. We did butternut squash one year that Papa allowed to trail out into the yard. Maybe next year…

  2. Nice! Will make great pies later too!

    1. Pies, bread, bars … mmm, I’m getting hungry!

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