For our November market, we've harvested lots of roots and greens; turnips, radishes, chard, kale, salad greens, cabbage and more. It was a very cold and wet Friday, which made for tough picking weather, but we got it done. It didn't help that our pig Wilder (aptly named by the kids because she is more wild than the other pig), snuck out of her pasture three times! Brian was at work so I rushed to get the homeschooling and household work done so I could be done harvesting before dark. It was very cold pulling up root veggies out of soggy beds and spraying them off outdoors. By the time I milked the goats, my hands were so cramped with cold I could barely get them to work. Also the goats weren't thrilled with my icy fingers! Thankfully Brian got home and took over the rest of the washing, bundling and bagging, so I could take a hot bath and put the boys to bed. Then we had a nice time listening to music and getting everything ready. We've also made some more soap, salve and new beeswax candles from our beehives.
As I was sorting through radishes and putting aside slug-nibbled ones, I was thinking lots about how we expect our produce to be "perfect", regardless of the cost to the environment and our health to make it so, and the amount of waste created by throwing out cosmetically imperfect food. It is so frustrating to spend all the time and energy growing something, only to harvest it and realize we can't sell it due to light insect damage. But we have had good luck will our customers accepting some imperfect produce because they know we grow organic. Fortunately we are small enough that it is easy for us to eat our market "rejects", and we can always feed things to our animals or the compost pile. But I shudder when I see all the picture perfect produce in the stores and think of how many chemicals it took to grow them that way, and how much food was thrown out that didn't meet aesthetic standards. I think we all need to learn what kind of imperfections are acceptable and won't harm the quality of the food.
The last few days we have had high winds, driving rains, hail and even lightning! Our animals have been hiding in their shelters, waiting for breaks in the rain to come out and forage. Brian made a new cold-frame for our lettuce, and put row covers to protect our spinach and greens. We should have enough to eat fresh greens all winter. We are still eating plenty of fresh tomatoes that have been ripening on my counter. They should hold out until December, when I will start using my home-canned sauce.
I've been trying to get as much plastering done as possible, after chores and homeschooling, before making dinner, nighttime milking and clean up. Here is a picture of the lime plaster over earthen on our south wall.