Monday, September 12, 2011

Roof Done, Moving On

A. finished shingling the porch roof yesterday around 5:30 p.m., just as it was starting to rain. Good timing. I think there's a little bit of trimming to do, the gutters to put back up, and a WHOLE LOT of old shingles to dispose of, but it's pretty much finished.

Three cheers for our new roof! And the roofer!

Okay, now we move on. To potatoes.

When Cubby and I were out in the garden this weekend, I took a look to see how close the potatoes were to dying down. Once the foliage dies, you see, I cut that part off (to prevent any nasties that might be on the foliage from infecting the potatoes themselves and ruining them for storage) and leave them in the ground for a couple of weeks to cure. Then we dig them up and spread them out to dry. And THEN I have my boxes of potatoes at the ready in the cellar.

So first the foliage has to die.

I thought it was taking an awfully long time for that to happen this year. It still looked pretty green out there in that enormous potato patch. But when I actually started looking closely for the plants I realized that the green I was seeing was actually mostly, um, weeds.

Well. That's kind of embarrassing, now isn't it?

After I pulled the horrifying amount of weeds that had grown up around the actual potatoes, I found that most of the varieties of potato were actually done and ready to be cut down. Our long-season storage variety wasn't quite done growing, but all the rest had given it up. So I spent some time with Cubby yesterday cutting off the tops of the potato plants and chucking them in the gully. Then, since I was digging some potatoes up for dinner anyway, I dug up all of a random small patch of a variety called Lehigh I had planted sort of late and as an afterthought near the blackberries.

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as yield or size in that area of the garden, since it can actually be a little wet and shady.

I guess potatoes like it a little wet and shady. Those potatoes were HUGE. Behold, the enormous potatoes. With a pen for scale:

What's that? You can't see the pen? Maybe that's because it's overshadowed by the GIGANTIC POTATOES.

So I guess there will be no shortage of french fries this winter, then.

Know what else there will be shortage of this winter? Pears. After five straight nights of pear canning, the MiL and I have some incredibly sore hands and 35 quarts of pears to show for our efforts.

That's right. I said 35. Perhaps you think that is an excessive amount of pears?


Those aren't even the pears from our pear tree. Those are just the pears from the MiL's sister's Bartlett pear trees. Our Bosc pears are a later variety. Not much later, though. In fact, this year, they're almost simultaneous, as the MiL and I discovered yesterday that our pears are ready to be picked.

Unlike other fruits, pears are actually picked when hard and fully ripened off the tree. So once I actually pick those pears, it will be another week or so before they're soft and ready for canning. But that time will come, oh yes, and then it's back to the paring knife and the sugar syrup and canning until 9 p.m. every night.

I think I may be sick in the head.

But at least we'll have lots of fruit for the winter.


Anna said...

I'd eventually like an orchard, when I'm not living on an 1/8 acre in town... How many fruit trees and blackberry canes do you have?

Teresa said...

My my you are busy girls!! But the rewards will be worth every price paid. YUM YUM

I really enjoy your blog.

Anonymous said...

Pears are my favorite...glad you are going to have so many. Let the pearathon begin. Beth

word verification - fadomle

how a ghost skips down the road

tu mere said...

If I read your timeframe right, you'll have four extra hands to help with the pears. Should I bring my paring knife? Oh wait, guess that wouldn't be such a good idea with take on luggage.