Category Archives: R Local Harvest

Morning Gloryous Seed Saving

dried morning glory vines.

To keep our home cool during summer, Margaret hung sections of worn-out poultry netting over our south facing windows and trained scarlet runner beans, morning glories, and even a bottle gourd plant to climb the netting. Now, when days are short and cold, we’d like the southern sun to shine fully through those windows. We lifted the fence posts that had hung horizontally across the top edge of the windows on nails and put everything, dried vines and fence, into a muck bucket and brought it to Local Farm.

cleaning morning glory seeds.

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Today, our young friends helped break away all the dried vines and seed pods. They rolled up the cleaned fence to store until next spring and separated out the tiny black morning glory seeds from the chaff.

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blow away the chaff.

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Some blew away the chaff.

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picking up seeds.

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and some us picked up the tiny seeds one-by-one.

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gloryous printing.

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We block printed morning glory blossoms and leaves on letter-sized  paper.

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hands at work.

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Our blocks were cut out of a “soft-kut” printing block and detailed with a  linoleum cutter. They were mounted on corrogated cardboard and had folded cardboard grips held in place with spray adhesive. We used violet ink to best represent the President Tyler heirloom variety of morning glory which is the one we had grown and saved.

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packets ready to fill.

To make seed packets, we tore the printed paper in quarters, folded and taped in the sides and bottom. Here are some waiting to be filled and taped closed for a lovely holiday gift!

Saving and sharing one’s favorite heirloom garden seeds is both a fun and simple step toward self sufficiency, and a great community builder.

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First Frost

The frost is on the pumpkin!
frosted pumpkin leaves
Leaves darken and wilt back, exposing the large orange fruit, ready for harvest. We planted CT field pumpkins around the rocks in our winter sacrifice area this summer. They will provide a tasty fresh treat for the cows after the pasture grass gives out.

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Harvesting Beef at Home

Cold nights and cool mornings are perfect for harvesting meat. We are fortunate to be able  to hire someone to kill, dress out, skin and deliver an animal to the nearby locker to be hung, cut, wrapped, and flash frozen. Pfinnegan had his last breakfast of milk this morning and was led to the end of the barn where he stood quietly a few seconds until Joe took perfect aim and dropped him with a shot in the head. No panicked corralling into a strange trailer. No time penned with other confused cattle or being singled out and herded into a chute… just a quiet walk with a familiar human.
skinnin' PfinneganIt is always hard to kill an animal, but I am grateful we can do it at home.

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Eureka Lives!

girl holding fresh head of cabbage We all felt it was a good kraut of campers, guests, and staff who made our first farm camp reunion of the 2013 Camp Eureka program. We walked out to the Local Farm garden and harvested 2 large cabbages. We washed them, quartered them, and cut them up finely for our own-made sauerkraut. Here, Lily shows off a big head that she pulled right out of the ground chopping cabbage for krautby the root!

The guys with the knives are chopping cabbage…

and the girls are pounding it into a crock to release its juices.

Tal showed us a sheep fleece.mashing kraut Then she explained that (1) warm water, (2) soap, and (3) agitation makes tiny barbs on the individual strands of wool fiber to relax and hook into one another. We sprayed it with warm water, then splashed it with warm soapy water and SQUISH!felting fleece by foot

Visit Eureka for a scrap book tour of  this year’s session

 

 

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Yale Harvest at Local Farm

6 in-coming Yale freshmen and their upper-classmen leaders arrived at Local Farm last Sunday for a pre-orientation week of hard physical farm labor. Asked why they would choose such a program, their answers ranged from wanting a experience being around farm animals; to wanting to step out of their comfort zone in order to distract themselves from stressing out about the upcoming school-year; to wanting to form close bonds with a few classmates before being surrounded by strangers. We think they succeeded in these goals and MOOre!DSCF2461First they met the cows, brushed them,

DSCF2469and learned how to milk.

DSCF2478Then, they met the WEEDS!!!!

DSCF2487We all pulled and pulled and pulled weeds until almost everyone began to wonder WHY had they signed up for such a grueling tour.

DSCF2493But then, there were moments of pause and wonder at how much ground we had cleared, and how deep our friendships were becoming.

DSCF2498Breaking up the weed-pulling with calf walking made it all more bearable.

DSCF2525…as did clowning around and being corny!

DSCF2547Finally we sowed wheat in the freshly weeded area, transplanted strawberries, set up a Mother West Wind Scarecrow and congratulated ourselves on a wonderful HARVEST!

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