Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Week on the Farm: July 17

The weather has been lovely this week, with highs a balmy 80 degrees. In July in Alabama, we sure will take it! We even got to eat dinner outside tonight because it wasn't sweltering.

Yesterday we had a big scare with the baby. It was one of the most frightening nights of my life and hearing the baby's heartbeat on the Doppler was one of the most emotional moments I've ever experienced. Today we got to see our baby via ultrasound and he is safe and healthy and all is well. And yes, the baby is a he! I wasn't planning on finding out the baby's gender, since our midwives don't do ultrasounds, but with this emergency ultrasound happening unexpectedly we just couldn't resist.

The name we've got picked out is Wendell Lyle Clark. Wendell Berry is one of my favorite authors, an agrarian advocate who writes prolifically and farms 40 acres in Kentucky with his trusty team of mules. Lyle is my grandfather's name, my mom's dad. I've really appreciated getting to know my maternal grandparents in adulthood; they're both neat folks. I feel like the baby's name is old-fashioned, humble, and perfectly suited for a farmer's son.

As far as the garden goes this week, it is still busting out all over the place! Harvest is necessary every two to three days. Today I picked a Crimson Sweet watermelon, two and a half pounds of yard-long beans, eight pounds of tomatoes, seven pounds of butternut squash, and a stray zucchini. I've had to do plenty of cooking and preserving to keep up with everything. So far I've made pizza sauce, fermented salsa verde, and have frozen lots of zucchini and green beans.

Not all of the produce has been a raging success; my big tomatoes especially have had issues with worms and splitting and molding. I've taken to picking the tomatoes when they're just starting to change colors from green to red/orange/whatever color indicates ripeness. That seems to be helping with helping them ripen indoors away from the dangers lurking outdoors. And luckily we've also got our trusty chickens who act as a garbage disposal for any produce that's not good enough for us to put on the table. They more than happily consume wormy tomatoes and old zucchini and watermelon rinds!

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