Well, I’ve been doing a lot on the homestead since last I wrote. We had a hard frost, so prior to that I brought in as much basil as possible, and made eight cups of pesto to freeze. Also 7 lbs of cherry tomatoes (drying them and eating them) and 3 dozen + tomatoes, 8 long island cheese pumpkins, and 6 sibley squash. I traded some of the winter squash to my mother for carving pumpkins. And finally a couple pounds of bell peppers and jalepenos.

Today I went out used some wire fencing to fence off my strawberry bed, that actually held summer squash this year. I put 5 of my chickens in it (the other three strenuously objected) and I tied a tarp over the top to keep them in. They are going to make sure it is free of weeds and squash bugs today, and maybe tomorrow. Then I am going to turn the bed and lengthen it so it is 4′ x 20′ . Plenty of room for all the strawberries my hubby can eat.

I also harvested my potato towers. I’ll post in depth on that tomorrow, with my thoughts as to pros, cons, what to improve, and if it is worth it.

I am planning on staking off the area that I plan on expanding the garden to either this afternoon, or tomorrow. I’ll spend the rest of the week clearing the weeds and leveling it, as well as finishing off cleaning out my other garden beds (maybe I’ll throw my chickens in the other beds too.) Then I need to order a truckload each of compost and woodchips, and spread the compost over all of my beds, then the woodchips.

I’ll build my new bed in ground, instead of building a box for it. Boxes get expensive after a while. After the ground is clear and level, I plan on laying a layer of old newspaper, then 4-6 inches compost, then 3 or so inches wood chips. I have a post coming up with my thoughts on wood chip mulch as well.

Preservation wise I have done the following: canned 7 qts applesauce, froze 20+ pints peaches, dried tomatoes and peach fruit leather, canned whole tomatoes and peaches (can’t remember how many), froze pesto in ice cubes. Still have to can 2 bushels of pears, more applesauce, buy storage apples, and figure out h0w to preserve peppers.

So that’s what is going on.