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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fall clean-up time

Its getting to be that time of year when you clean up all the summer mess and start getting things ready for colder weather. Well that's what we have been doing here for the past few days on the homestead. Son got the garden stuff mowed down that was done for the season. Also mowed around the buildings on the rental property and sprayed for bugs. Now we need to finish up weed eating and picking up and taking stuff to the burn pile that needs to be disposed of.

Back to the gardening, I still need to weed and mulch the herb bed before everything dies back so I know where it is and maybe get some label stakes made. The beds all need a healthy dose of compost before mulching. The kiwi vines and hops all need attention, along with the grapevines. The chickens rearranged the mulch from the grapes and blueberries when they decided there just might be a worm or bug in there. Next week we will be building a new strawberry bed for all the runners my plants have made. Am thinking of putting black plastic on the ground for a week or so before filling the bed with dirt to kill back the grass that is growing there now. This is the lazy way to rid a place of grass before planting. Then the day the dirt goes in I will add a layer of shredded paper and cardboard to further deter grass and weeds. Then we will mix in some compost and organic fertilizer with the soil and plant the lil runners. And with a little care they should be good next spring.

Last summer and this year I dried some tomatoes with the intention of making sun dried tomatoes in oil. Well today I finally got around to it. They look really good in the jar with basil and minced garlic covered in olive oil. After about a week they should make a tasty pasta sauce. Also tried my hand at making herb vinegar. First test was with tarragon. Pick the fresh herb after the dew drys off and chop coarsely. Pack into a wide mouth quart jar and add hot white wine vinegar to cover. Let stand for a few weeks to get the desired strength. Then strain into a clean bottle that you have placed a stem of the herb in. Store in cool dark place and use in dressings and marinades. Maybe I will make a mixed herb vinegar just for interest.
Till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


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