Tag Archives: first frost

It Happened – October 17, 2017

We did indeed get our first frost.  The trip to the bus stop this morning required a prewarming of the car to clear the windows and so the grands wouldn’t wear their new winter coats when the daytime temperature is going to be in the low 60’s.  The tractor, still sitting out back from the weekend labor was frosted, the hay bales in the fields had the white glittering haze and even the grass, so it was a real first frost.  Unfortunately, as the day wore on yesterday, I realized that I was coming down with my first cold of the year.  Somehow, I have avoided the two the grands have already had, but this one came on anyway.  Therefore, the peppers didn’t get picked.  I haven’t been into the garden to see if they froze or if the plants just got burned, maybe later.

Sunday evening as eldest son was headed back out of town, we took the crew to a local Thai/Vietnamese restaurant in Blacksburg.  Not wanting curry, I ordered a bowl of Vietnamese Chicken Noodle soup.  It came in a serving bowl sized dish, broth with chicken, rice noodles, scallion slices, and a platter of Thai basil, cilantro, bean sprouts, jalapeno slices, and lime wedges.  I ate about half of it, took the veggies from grandson’s Pho soup that he didn’t eat, and packaged it up for home. This morning, it was warmed and dosed with a hefty shot of Sriracha sauce and eaten for breakfast to open my stuffy head.  Then I remembered having made a homemade version of Fire Cider in July and strained it off and took a shot of it too.  An Echinachea tincture is being taken twice a day, this cold isn’t going to get me down if I can fight it out.  Fortunately, other than stuffy, I don’t feel bad.

There are no photos of the glittering frost, as the sky lightened, thick fog rolled in.

Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

As the canning season is nearly over, may be over if it really went down to 30ºf last night as predicted, I haven’t checked yet.  Yesterday was a day to harvest everything that was ready, do a small canning as I wanted to try two of Marisa McClellan’s recipes for canning small quantities.

Before we had freezers, refrigerators, and pressure canners, food was preserved by smoking, salting or fermenting.  The Germans preserved cabbage, the Koreans made Kimchi both using salt and the anaerobic process known as Lacto-fermentation.  These products are available, but the raw, unpasteurized products made at home are so much tastier and have more health benefits.

IMG_0266[1]
Fermentation on the counter.
A basket of tomatillos, assorted peppers, bush beans, too many radishes and lots of greens were brought in, a 2 pint batch of Chunky Tomatillo Salsa made.  Quite uncharacteristic for me, I purchased a quart of out of season Strawberries as one of her books has a recipe for strawberry jam made with honey and Thyme that I wanted to try and I made a small batch of that as well.  I rarely grow radishes as they all are ready at the same time and you go from famine to feast.  I took the surplus and made a quart jar of radish Kimchi then shredded cabbage to start a half gallon of Sauerkraut.  The Cider started as vinegar a few days ago is beginning to smell, well like vinegar.  Maybe another half gallon of Sauerkraut will be made later.  Pickles and sauerkraut used to be made in quantity in large crocks or barrels in the farmhouse basements, the farm cook going down and drawing off what was needed for a meal and the crock re-covered until needed again, lasting until spring vegetables were growing.  We usually go through about a gallon each year. The eveningwas finished blanching and freezing the beans and hoping the plants survive the night to give us a few more meals before the real frosts and freezes of autumn arrive.

The tarp on the meat chicken pen was anchored more securely, the peppers and tomatillos covered with light tarps and row cover.

IMG_0268[1]

A photo of the pumpkin patch was made to document the wild growth they did in the rich soil of the compost bins.

IMG_0267[1]

I’m afraid to venture down to check the thermometer for the low or to peek out to see what survived the night.  I am hopeful that we are high enough to avoid the frost pockets that should have formed last night.

Lovin’ life on our mountain farm.