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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Scoring the Big One

Tortuga Thursday
In 2012, on the plains of Northern Arizona, two families joined forces and began the trials and tribulations of building a small family farm with nothing in the bank but love.

Lance scores a big one
Although some days it feels like the dog days of summer on the prairie, harvesting is going strong. And there are some crops that have yet to come ready such as potatoes. Cabbage is doing great!

Eight hundred jars and counting. Who needs a dining room? That's our pickle room. But then so is the kitchen. The cucumber plants continue to produce and pickling still ties up the kitchen all day long. As the season nears an end, the cucumbers are less than perfect as far as how they look. Because of that, we're doing more relish than pickles.

Ugly pickles probably won't sell. But I have to brag here, Frank's relish is outstanding. His standard relish is
sweet and dill at the same time. And his spicy relish is so very unique. These relishes will not be limited to hotdogs and hamburgers - think roast beef, pork chops and gourmet sandwiches.

I've been more involved this week than normal. I usually harvest the jalapenos, dill, bell peppers and onions for his recipes, but my duties have been expanded to helping in the kitchen a bit too. Christie is off the farm taking real estate classes. She's loving it. I'm missing her for more than her winning personality. Which she has. She normally assists Frank with the canning. I've also been doing dinner every night. Another chore that she doesn't consider a chore and gladly does. But I'll suffer through. LOL She'll make an excellent real estate agent.

Back to pickling. One huge draw back of this house is it's all electric. With the stove going all day long, our electric bill went up another $60. It's already outrageous because of the hot summer we've had. I also suspect the unit is old and inefficient. I'm having to rob other budget line items to cover our half of the electric bill. I'll report on the shortfall at the end of the summer and pickling season. My bailout plan of winning one of the smaller lotteries might not work.

The tomato distraction
This morning, I headed out to pick green beans as I do every other morning and got sidetracked by tomatoes. I couldn't help stopping and picking. They're way more fun to pick than green beans which require more bending and parting leaves.

Carrots are the hardest to harvest for me. It's tough to get them loose
A rainbow of carrots
from the soil. I some times have to dig. I've been known to break them down in the dirt. We have red, yellow and orange carrots. Wonder why we only see orange in the grocery store.

Onions are kind of fun to harvest. They come up easy and in all sizes. We have three varieties. Not too fond of tying and hanging but love
White onions hanging to dry
onions so much, it's worth the trouble. 

At least I got my harvesting in before the rains hit. As I'm writing this on Wednesday afternoon, out my window I see Lance trudging back and forth through the mud. Better him than me.


  1. I admire your families dedication and determination, Brenda. Best of luck.

    1. Thanks, Charlotte and glad you stopped by!

  2. I'm so jealous of your bountiful harvests! My garden has been less then stellar and I'm looking forward to trying again next spring.

    Also, I had no idea carrots came in other colors! Are they different varieties? Or do they just grow in other colors sometimes?

    1. They're different varieties. The red ones turn orange when they're cooked and the yellow just look like sick orange carrots. LOL. Don't see much flavor difference. But it's fun.