AROUND THE URBAN HOMESTEAD

A “getting caught up” posting with a little bit of this, that and this thrown in for good measure!

Though we are a few day’s into fall the temperatures are more like summer and thanks to a mild santa anna wind it’s not only turned up the heat but as if someone’s turned on a blow dryer on too!

The summer tomatoes still linger and we are harvesting some absolutely gorgeous rosa bianca eggplant.  Justin picked one the other day that weighed a hefty 2 lbs!  Roasted eggplant is one of our favorites – a “meat-like” (I know a bit of a stretch but heck we are vegetarian!) alternative that we used on pizzas and even sandwiches – yum!

With our duckie stable this week (actually she has good days and bad days) , we were able to catch up on our preservation efforts.  Dilly beans, blackberry jam, sun strawberry preserves and more jalapeno jelly (didn’t getting around to taking photos of all the lastest canning batches – oh well)

Our feather friends are molting so the animal enclosure and house look as if a few chickens been pluck for dinner – of course that’s hardly the case but needing to catch up on those chores so will be cleaning their bedding and house today.

With the extreme heat – we’ve been drinking gallons of switchel.  Also made a batch of fermented lemonade (delish)

Though I have put the ‘Weekly Meal Wrap Up’ on hiatus while I focus on our little duckie getting better  we have been enjoying some incredible meals like fig tacos (a favorite) and duck egg burrito with homegrown tomatoes, jalapenos and red peppers -mmmmmmm.  We are certainly blessed with such wonderful, healthful food.

The pink guavas are ripening – so we made a batch of guava sorbet with our new/used non electric ice cream maker that Jordanne purchased used off ebay.

It’s pomegranate time!  Love that bright red juicy fruit.  Justin brought in a HUGE basketful the other day.  Plan on making jelly, syrup and throwing a few seeds in salad (when I can sneak a few leaves away from those destined to be sold to our restaurant clients)

While the guys have been busy with building and fall garden plantings we gals with the onset of fall are getting back into the crafty groove.  Jordanne’s been busy as a bee organizing all our sewing notions, knitting supplies, etc as she tries to turned one of our bedrooms into the ultimate craft room.

Whether is because of the stress from the duckie but my fingers got to itching and am working on a few quick knitting projects – some knitted cotton dishcloths for the kitchen (making a red, white and blue pair).  Knitting for me is like yoga so with my brain crying out “serenity now” nothing helps like two needles and a ball of yarn.

Robert McFalls informed us this week that he is making HomeGrown available for community screenings only; however, the DVD probably won’t be available till next Spring (possibly around Earth Day)  So that’s the latest on that since I know many of you are interested in that documentary about our urban family farm.

I mentioned about the bug infestation – worse we’ve seen in our 20 plus years of city farming.  This year we had to battle harlequin bugs, spider mites and armyworms.    We’ve also noticed that the “good bugs” like praying manti are much smaller this season.  Usually by this time they are giants but we seem to be finding only puny little “defenders of the garden.”    Farmer D believes this wacked out balance of bugs has a lot to do with the wacky/roller coaster weather.    We are using organic, natural methods (like neem – check out PeddlersWagon.com for other garden supplies)    Farmer D is out there every morning doing hand to hand combat or should I say mass trowel slaughter.  Sometimes sprays don’t cut it and you got to go in and deal with the buggers yourself.  Yeah, it’s ugly but our feather friends don’t seem to mind.

Over the years we’ve learned that the best thing is to be on top of succession plantings.  If one crop is being decimated sometimes it’s just not worth it – turn it over (compost) or feed it to the critters and start again.

Of course we aren’t the only ones dealing with climate change implications – apocalyptic dust storm in Australia and epic floods in Georgia Hope everyone is staying safe – our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the affected areas.

Doesn’t bode well for our future.  Ok before I get morose and need a stiff drink (they only booze we got around here is mead and worty wine so I guess those will do!)  here are some “around the urban homestead” photos – enjoy!

Oh and we hope to see many of you this Saturday down in Riverside – come by and swap howdies!

More canned goods

Second hand non electric ice cream maker

Lemon verbena flavored kombucha

Goat in the kitchen!

Garden signs

Building projects

Late summer squash

Late summer/early fall tomatoes

Sweet Red Marconi Peppers

Rosa Bianca beauty

Pomegranates

Gettin’ knitty

Comments(5)

  1. Ava says:

    Hello, my name is Ava Koo, and I’m trying to legalize backyard ducks as pets in residential areas in Huntington and Huntington Station, NY. I started raising ducklings in my backyard because my mother is allergic to chicken eggs, and duck eggs would allow her to eat eggs again. Unfortunately, the town found out about my backyard ducks and are trying to make me get rid of them. Currently, only chickens are allowed, but I’m trying to change that! If you have any advice that would be amazing. I’ve also created a facebook group that I’ll be updating as things progress and an online petition. Thank you!

    http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=147806406185

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/ducks/

  2. Gina says:

    Hello! I just wanted to say I enjoyed meeting you and Jules the other day. Your home is beautiful and I enjoyed the conversation! I hope I didn’t interupt your hard work! 🙂

    Also, I wanted to mention that you guys are already battling the invasive bugs through your use of diversity and allowing the good bugs to thrive. Through my work I’ve seen (informally) that the worst infestations occur where people ignore “the laws of nature” and depend on monocultures and chemical control.

    If I can ever be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me!

  3. DoubleD says:

    Enjoyed the update. I think I like these blog posts the best – an overview of what is happening on your homestead and in your busy lives. I always learn something and I often emphatize because we are experiencing (or have experienced) something similar.

  4. CatHerder says:

    Great pics as always, but the pic of the goat in the kitchen had me grinning from ear to ear 🙂 its PRECIOUS!

  5. LaVonne says:

    LOVE the goat in the kitchen, comfy-cozy, just like a dog!

    Also, you’re making me miss knitting. Had to give it up thanks to a nasty case of rotator cuff tendonitis. :o[ I felt proud of myself for noticing that you are knitting on the diagonal. I used to do that too; it was more fun for some reason.

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