Putting on Socks and SweatersSeptember 21, 2011
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Putting on socks and sweaters has already become a habit in the morning here. I also put on a shallow pot of water to heat up Esther’s udder wash, which she seems to appreciate. Part of me can’t believe its already autumn and is confused as to where all the summer time went, but the other part of me is giddy with the excitement of fall and all that it brings. Everyone keeps saying “oh things must be winding down for you that must be nice” and I keep responding with “well…not really, but it’s still nice.” We have been planning and planting our fall, winter and early spring crops. Our calender is covered with ink scribbles as we plan and re-plan and try to remember with big bold letters what we have to do and when.
Having limited growing space makes this particularly stressful because some of the things we are growing we aren’t sure what the results will be so we have to be careful with the risks we take and make sure we have something definitely hardy to make up for it if it fails. Claytonia and Mache are our go-to for winter growing, we are also growing beet greens, arugula, a mix of mustards and asian greens as well as lettuce mix and spinach. We have turnips and radishes coming up for a fall harvest and we are going to plant a mix of roots in the tomato beds once they are done to see if we can over winter them with quick-hoops and have an early harvest next spring. Besides trying to have things growing and started we are planning our rice paddy construction for October which we are hoping to hire someone to do for us so we can focus on building our second high-tunnel before it gets too cold.
The rice has now been hanging for a week out in our addition. When we first harvested it, it’s aroma filled the room and spilled into our house and the barn on the other side. It wasn’t quite like the smell of drying hay it had a sharper more pronounced aroma, the kind that coats your taste buds until they think they are tasting it. Now its smell is beginning to fade or I am getting used to it, either way, it isn’t quite as intense when you first walk in the door. In another five weeks we will try to thresh and hull it! At the farmer’s market I brought a sheaf of rice and was amazed by how many people tried to eat it, clearly people are eager for Vermont rice if they are trying to eat it unhulled and uncooked. I have to say though I am going to put it in a less accessible spot next time, I can’t have all the seed eaten before it has a chance to make rice that can be cooked and eaten in an enjoyable, non tooth cracking manner.
Our kick-starter project is going really well thanks to all you supporters! If this is successful we will be able to hire our neighbor across town and get the job done quickly. Which as I said before would enable us to focus on our second high-tunnel which would be great for us during the winter but also for starting all our transplants in the spring, no more trays covering all the flat surfaces in the house! It is very rewarding to see all the enthusiasm in the community for this project, I am not sure who is more excited about growing rice at this point. The more support we receive whether it is through a contribution, sharing with friends or through commenting about it in person or on the net, I am beginning to see this rice project as more the community effort we hoped it to be and can’t wait to share the bounty with everyone.