My hiatus lasted longer than expected. My DIL’s surgery, my son’s wedding, two of my children purchasing new homes and all of the kids home for said events coupled with a garden that exploded has made every minute precious. But tomorrow is the first day of school, my teaching obligations are complete and I think my mind may just find the necessary space to get some writing done.
So beside family doings, what else has been going on?

I attended a wheat workshop today. It was presented by a woman who has spent decades globe-trotting to find land races of wheat. I learned a bit about the history of wheat, how to plant it (I have the sore back to prove I did that!), how to select for vigor and how to store it. I came home with a sack of Emmer, an ancient variety and the mother of all wheat. I haven’t quite decided what to do with it. I want to plant a 10X10 plot but I have no experience with wheat. Not that lack of experience is likely to stop me. The presenter’s husband does seed trials for Fedco so we got to do a tomato taste test. That alone would have been worth the trip. It was a perfect day.

I returned home and remembered that I had not picked up my CSA milk. that meant a quick trip to Taproot to do the pick-up and to drop off honey. While there I did a visit with my turkeys. These are the bourbon reds I co-own with Pepper, the young lady who owns my the dairy. The birds look great. We will butcher all but one tom and four hens. Pepper wants 4-5 birds and the rest will find a home here in either the canner or the freezer.

I started to pull potatoes this week. They look fair but the size and number has certainly been affected by the drought. I talked to some friends who attended today’s workshop with me and it looks like we will be putting in a large group order for winter vegetables. The winter squash is a huge disappointment and the beets and carrots only fair. It does go to point out how important a deep pantry is. What if I could not get my hands on what I need? I would be mighty hungry come February.

My son and his wife bought a house so they will be moving in 6 weeks. It’s time to get serious about how I can use my space better. Before we do anything, we have some updates to complete. The windows downstairs have to get put in and we need some more insulation. Then we have to repair a roof and get in the winter wood supply. The hurrier I go the behinder I get. I need to get some more blankets and some winter gear. I’ll hit the thrift shops first and tag sales too.

Speaking of tag sales. Labor Day is always the best tag sale day of the year. I got some great deals. I found a very cool, hand-painted candle box that’s perfect for showing off my candles at farmer’s markets. I also found some amazing kitchen things. I loved the glass pie and bread pans and some 60′s era covered glass refrigerator dishes.

Work is progressing on the summer kitchen. Part of the problem is that we are in it so much we have little time or space to finish. Bruce is extracting honey and I’m canning up a storm but I know it will be a lot easier when the water is running. Hauling water sucks.

Do any of you belong to permies.com? I love that site. It has great videos. There was one today about a compost heated outdoor shower. I keep information like that tucked in the back of mind in a file labeled “Just In Case”.

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