Late summer snapshots
The backyard garden is looking nice and lush once again as late summer beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, squash and other colorful green crops fill the beds and self-watering containers. The guys erected a new open-air bamboo fence between our place and our neighbor’s. Being that that side of the yard is so narrow, we opted not to “wall ourselves in” with a solid fence and instead bought some accordion bamboo trellises and attached them along a frame. Looks really nice, gives security and yet it doesn’t have a feel of a fence.
The front yard is overgrown and wild with late summer growth – the guavas are producing tiny delicious fruit. Soon the yard will change; herbs will be cut back, seeds harvested and leaves will fall and this year’s garden will become just a memory. Lots of tiny birds are hanging out at the homestead, feasting on bugs and seeds from the sunflowers and flowering herbs. Butterflies flutter on the passion vine along side the house to lay their larva; squirrels have descended on our neighbors pecan tree, chattering away as the eat the green nuts. Every creature and plant is preparing for winter and we, too, are planning for cold and wet weather ahead.
Today we passed a small milestone with baking our first loaves of bread in the cob oven. It only took about 2 hours to reach over 400 degrees – just enough time grind the flour on the pedal power grain mill, mix, knead and rise the bread. I wanted to try baking the herbal bread (made with chives, sage, parsley from our garden) in clay pots. The bread baked well and was quite tasty and light; however, next time I will use parchment paper to line the clay pot to make it easier to remove the bread. Our first bread baking venture went smoothly (will adjust a few things) with only one minor mishap (while adding wood, the heat was so intense, 1/2 my eyelashes were singed off – whoops!)
After taking out the bread, the oven was still warm, so we heated up some water for washing dishes and heated up a pizza (with extra fresh veggies from the garden) left over from Sunday’s pizza party.