Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Falling into Fall

With our first days of torrential downpour, fall has officially arrived in the Pacific Northwest.  The push to get things done before winter is here, and I am woefully behind on all of those things I meant to do before it got soggy and muddy again, but here it is, ready or not.

October has been a delightfullly busy month for the AdventureFamily.  Early in the month we spent a wonderful long weekend on 9 Trees.  AdventureDad got a new layer of grass seed planted in the hay pasture, and we met the driller and started the well drilling process (it has turned into a bit of a saga, but I am waiting until it is all done before I divulge more... look to the next post for updates!).  This is huge for us... where we are the wells are incredibly deep, so it is an impressive investment in the farm.  It is also necessary to have the well so that we can get our building permits in the spring.  The thought that next year we will have our very own running water is awe-inspiring at this point.  Yay us!  We also took a "break" from work immediately on the property, and did some work clearing out the easement that accesses the bottom portion of our property (our acreage is almost 1/2 mile long, down a steep canyon, so an access easement comes through the neighboring lots to reach the bottom).  We hacked foliage, sawed trees, and cleared obstructions until we were exhausted, but we also got to spend a day in the woods, which the girls loved.  We also found A LOT of bear sign, re-confirming that the presence of black bears will be a part of our existence there.

After our sojourn in the farm, it was back to life on the wetter side of the state.  We went to a pumpkin patch as a field trip for Livvy's preschool, and then carved the pumpkin that evening before celebrating Livvy's 3rd birthday (AdventureDad had to leave the next day to be in the field for awhile, missing Halloween, so we did it a bit early).  My sweet baby girl is 3!  I can't believe how much life this happy, opinionated, silly, serious, loving little being brings into our lives every day.  There is no vestige of baby left in her, as she easily holds her own with her big sister and the rest of us as well.  Sad for mommy, but part of life, and it is a joy to witness her discovery of the world.

Last but not least, fall brings the close to my vegetable gardening season.  I am still hoping that a few of my heirloom tomatoes will ripen (although I did also do an early harvest and we had some DELICIOUS fried green tomatoes a few nights ago), but in general the crops are coming to a close.  The cool, wet weather invites mildew, and between that and the cool nights I am slowly losing the battle.  So, time to bring in the last few green beans, the last cuttings of broccoli raab, and the last zucchinis.  The brussels sprouts are swelling, the carrots are sweetening, and the potatoes are waiting patiently for me to dig.  I was hoping to store my parsnips in the ground a while longer (frost can mellow the flavor), but a suspicious wilting of some of the chard (as if the roots were gone), followed by a tell-tale hump in the dirt made me do a little exploratory digging, and I discovered that a busy gopher has been helping himself.  Most of my biggest parsnips fell victim, but I still harvested about 10 lbs worth... not bad for a square yard of ground!  (Parsnip is one of my very favorite winter soup ingredients, yummmm!).

Gathering Pumpkins is Serious Business
M's Pumpkin Was Easier to Subdue

The Family Lantern
Let the Drilling Commence!

As Three As Can Be!

The Parsnip Harvest

Apparently gophers don't like the skin...a perfect parsnip shell was left behind!