Thursday, September 11, 2014

Meanwhile. . .

I mentioned yesterday that we had been without power for approximately 92 hours.  Lack of a full and regular electric supply (we did run the generator, just not all the time; a few hours here and there each day to keep fridges and freezers cold enough and allow the well pump to run and replenish the pressure tank) caused us to adjust our daily activities somewhat, but that doesn't mean we didn't accomplish anything.

What I didn't do:

  • laundry--uses a lot of water and power from generator
  • baking--oven uses too much power, we don't use it while running on generator power
  • canning--I have a gas stove top, so I can keep cooking through a power outage, but canning uses a whole lot of water

What I did do:
  • knit
  • all cleaning that uses manual tools (sweeping, dusting, decluttering, etc)
  • harvest onions
  • cook down tomatoes for totally fresh and from scratch tomato soup (versus canning them; they were to the point by day 3 of no power that they were going to turn to mush on the counter)
  • put up hay
Yep.  Put up hay.  That big storm might have caused widespread power outages, but it also brought in a 4-day stretch of beautiful sunny, slightly breezy, warm and dry weather.  The family who custom bales my hay stopped by on Saturday morning, while I was in the garden discovering some storm damage, and asked if I'd like my second cutting done right then.  

Would I?  You betcha!  I mean, first didn't get done until mid-July, and now it's early September and second has grown enough to be worth baling.  Besides, it's September; we're running out of hay weather, which has been especially hard to come by this year.

So, while I was finding this in my garden:

1st bean pole blown to 45 degree angle

2nd bean pole snapped off by strong winds

my hay field was getting mowed to look like this:

a beautiful sight

I also harvested most of my onions (the red zeppelins aren't quite ready yet, but the ringmasters and copras all had tops that had fallen over, indicating ripeness).

a few of the copra

row of ringmaster

I think I will just go ahead and pull out all the pole bean plants.  They aren't done producing yet, but without the poles as supports, they are a tangled mess, making picking beans very difficult.  I've got enough canned and frozen to last us until next summer's beans are ready.  Rather than considering it a loss, I've decided to think of it as getting a jump on fall's garden clean-up.

DH and I also spent quite a bit of time on the phone with both of our sons during the power outage .  Big changes coming for each of them, and also for us.  More on that in a future post.

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