From the dirt to our plate; the trials and realities of first-time farm ownership

Week 19: Ushering Out Summer

WEEK 19

It’s so hard to believe that fall is just around the corner.  This week we definately started feeling the crisp autumn air and that made us even more eager to get a few things finished before the snow started to fly.

While the kitchen was still in-progress we were able to get many of the appliances up and running.  With the gas stove hooked up, our first meal was baked chicken with steamed corn on the cob and potatoes & onions in the cast iron skillet.  It was a hearty meal that was long overdue! 


No more cooking in the camper has made me giddy.  So much so, I have contemplated some additional last minute pickling, baking apple pie and making homemade ice cream.  I’ll see how far I get before this next week is out.  My back has been giving me fits and my new chiropractor has instructed rest and plenty of ice in my immediate future.

In order to complete the install of our kitchen appliances meant my husband had to focus on plumbing.  Over the years plumbing runs had been added or moved and the pipes in the basement truly looked a fright.  Jeff replaced all the old piping, added whole house water filters (yes plural) and a water softening system.  


I took things one step farther and ordered a replacement aluminum/zinc anode for our water heater to curb an issue we had with sulfur smell in our hot water system.  We drained the tank, bleached the system, drained and rinsed again prior to the install of the new anode.  Hopefully we killed off some of the anaerobic bacteria that was the source of our issue.  The zinc should help reduce the reaction between the bacteria and the anode rod which was producing the hydrogen sulfide gas.  

As the week progressed we looked forward to the nice weather forecasted for the weekend.  We took advantage of this time to clean all of the windows and screens.  We trimmed back trees currently droopy and full of apples.  Raspberries were cut back, the sweet corn garden tilled under, hedges trimmed (Marley is peaking around the hedges in the picture below) and rock added to what was previously dirt landscape at the front of the house.  


To finish out some of the interior space I added modern panel blinds to both the dining area and the living room.  Old traverse rods (previously gold) were prepped and spray painted a nice gloss black for use in the bedroom spaces.  To save money, I felt that reusing and restringing these rods would be worth the work.  After some careful research and measuring, curtains were ordered for the bedrooms as well as a wood stove (thank goodness for Menards 11% off this week) for the living space.


The house is looking lived in and it feels good.  This next week will consist of many things we need to do before it gets too white outside to do them.  First on my list – a duck shelter and nesting area.  I want to make sure my babies are nice and protected once they no longer have the camper to hide under.  

As for my garden, it is indeed an end to a great growing season.  The beans have finished, the okra is tall but the lack of warm weather has really slowed pod production.  The only things still hanging on are a few tomatoes and some undersized orange and green peppers.  

The chickens are enjoying their expanded run into the garden space via the newly opened door between their outside back pen and the garden.  They have freedom to pluck at whatever is left on cucumber and melon vines all while having better ground to catch as many crickets as their bellies can handle.  I’ve even caught a few hens taking dust baths under the okra and pepper plants.  

For now, we count down the days until our kitchen countertops arrive.  Estimates show another 2-3 days and we could be installing one of the final pieces of our kitchen.  Until then, I will be sitting on the sidelines with my ice pack and a few light chores to keep the house moving along.

**Side Note***

The attic is now down 6 more mice for the week and Marley is thrilled!  His big ears hear everything and they were driving him crazy!

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