Sunday, October 12, 2008

Winter Is Icumen In

Wow, what a difference in the weather since last weekend. It was rainy, but we hadn't had any frost yet. Over the last week we've had at least three nights below 32F. Evidently parts of Boise got snow during the week but we didn't. We're not at the edge of the Snake River ravine, but we're on the next "shelf" north of it. Sometimes that seems to make it cooler here, and sometimes I wonder if it's just my imagination :). The storms that blow in from the west and southwest either pass over us without doing anything, or they hit our part of the area harder than further east and north. My tomatoes are gone, as are the beans and (wah) the orange cosmos. I'm glad I cut a few more before they were blackened.

The peppers are struggling, but I've been covering them with a sheet every night, and so far they're making it. There are still at least six peppers that could get a bit riper. This afternoon I roasted a bunch, some red and some green. The greens were smaller ones that fruited late. So they were at the top of the plant and their stems were hit with the cold in spite of the sheet. I figured it was better to take them now, instead of letting them go bad. Most of them roasted up fine, so that was nice. I have five portions of roasted and peeled peppers in the freezer now.

The cool thing is that the lettuces and arugula are just fine. In fact, some of the fancy mustard and cabbage leaves are coming back. So we have plenty of greens. I still haven't pulled up the parsnips, but there's no rush. I think you can leave them in the ground until you need them.

The other funny thing was hubby heard egg-laying noises on Wednesday afternoon, so he went out to check on our hens. He had a look in the smaller coop, which they usually don't go into. Sure enough there was one hen sitting on a new egg. Then he found a dozen more, all green ones from the Arucana hens. Hard to say how long those had been there. We've been assuming for months that they were eating their eggs as soon as they laid them. Probably some of them still are, but evidently the two Arucanas aren't! So we have a dozen eggs. We've been cracking them one by one into a small bowl - just in case! So far, so good. Eggs last a surprisingly long time.

We're having a nice quiet weekend, but the week is going to be busy. On Wednesday a Norwegian fiddle group, Vestafor, are giving a hardanger fiddle workshop at our house. It will be fascinating, even if I am pretty much a lapsed fiddler. On Friday they're doing a concert in Nampa that we'll go to.

So lots of tidying and cleaning to do if strangers are coming here. Better get busy!

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