October 13, 2008 – Pastured Turkeys

Our pastured turkeys are now out living the good turkey life.  These are the regular old commercial turkeys but we’ve trained them some new tricks.

We move this old hay wagon around the pasture with their feeder connected to it.  If it’s not raining they roost on top of the wagon at night.  We’ve got some electric netting around their area to keep predators out.  They get water in a different place from a 55 gallon bucket that fills from the gutters off an old outbuilding.  We leave the door open in the brooding shed and they can seek shelter in there if the weather turns nasty (and they have).

one year ago…”Teotihuacán Ruins”.

October 12, 2008 – House Painting

We had hoped to get new siding on the house relatively soon, but it is no longer in the budget, so the overdue house painting begins.  Keep your fingers crossed that it is the last time to paint the house.  It is much easier than the last time because there is new siding on the 3rd floor and new soffits on the main house.

In this photo the left side has the first coat while Emma works on scraping the the other side (and you can see she is doing a fine job!  Linda is painting the porch.  We probably won’t be able to get the whole house done before cold weather sets in, but we’ll at least try to get most of two sides done.

one year ago…”Mexico City”.

October 11, 2008 – Homecoming 2008

I know you are all waiting to see what Claire wears to the Homecoming Dance this year after last year’s homemade duct tape dress. And now for something quite sad – Each day for a number of years I’ve chronicled the good, bad interesting and pedestrian on the high hopes blog. Any guesses what the most common search term people use to find the blog is? It’s not “wind turbine” “organic” or even “goats” or “chickens” but “homecoming dress” or “duct tape homecoming dress.” It is rather humbling to have more people find the site for a duct tape dress than any feature of the farm!

This year Claire stepped up and substituted duct-tape encrusted shoes with silver Converse tenners.

Other than that, she wore a conventional dress, more or less, got together before with a bunch of girls to get ready, and generally did the homecoming thing.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #91″.

October 10, 2008 – Iowa Chops

Tonight it was “Boys Night Out” as Martin and I went to the inaugural Iowa Chops AHL (AAA affiliate of Anaheim Ducks) game.

It took me back to my college days in Duluth when I had season tickets during the heyday of the UMD Bulldogs, when Brett Hull and others played for the Bulldogs.  Martin is showing off his cowbell which got a lot of use during the game.

one year ago…”Baxter Oil Company Web Site “.

October 6, 2008 – Peppers at Peak

Even though it is the first week of October, the peppers are really coming on.  It seems like a long frost-free season so far.

These are some purple peppers.  Some years we don’t get them to turn purple.  Sweet bell peppers like these are a snap to preserve – just cut them up in strips or chopped and throw them in the freezer – no canning, not even any blanching.  They are great on pizza and wherever you use fresh peppers.

OK, no we are moving up a notch to the Jalapeno peppers.  This is about as hot as many people go (and many don’t go this far).  It’s been a great fall for fresh salsa.  It’s about a meal after some long days in the garden – a batch of fresh salsa, some thick chips and a seat in the Adirondack chair while listening to “A Prairie Home Companion” is about as decadent as it gets around here!

Up a notch in heat are the cayenne peppers.

Another bump up in heat are these Thai hot peppers.

By far the hottest peppers we’ve ever grown are these Habanero peppers, native to the Yucatan. These babies are about 50 times hotter than Jalapenos!  I’ve copied the Scoville scale of pepper hotness from Wikipedia below so you can see where your peppers fall on the heat scale.

Scoville scale
Scoville rating Type of pepper
15,000,000-16,000,000 Pure capsaicin
8,600,000-9,100,000 Various capsaicinoids
2,000,000-5,300,000 Standard U.S. Grade pepper spray irritant ammunition
855,000-1,050,000 Naga Jolokia, Dorset Naga
350,000-580,000 Red Savina Habanero
100,000-350,000 Habanero chili, Scotch Bonnet Pepper, Datil pepper, Rocoto, Jamaican Hot Pepper, African Birdseye
50,000-100,000 Thai Pepper, Malagueta Pepper, Chiltepin Pepper, Pequin Pepper
30,000-50,000 Cayenne Pepper, Ají pepper, Tabasco pepper, some Chipotle peppers
10,000-23,000 Serrano Pepper, some Chipotle peppers
2,500-8,000 Jalapeño Pepper, Guajillo pepper, New Mexican varieties of Anaheim pepper, Paprika (hungarian wax pepper)
500-2,500 Anaheim pepper, Poblano Pepper, Rocotillo Pepper
100-500 Pimento, Pepperoncini
0 No heat, Bell pepper

one year ago…”Getting Ready for the New Roof”.

October 5, 2008 – Morning Sun Party

Today was a wonderful event hosted at Morning Sun Farm (if you look closely at the top of the barn that is in the beginning phase of restoration, you can see the old faded name painted on the barn).

It was a celebration of life and friendship following the end of treatment for breast cancer.  The folks at Morning sun celebrated and thanked their friends in a big way, hosting a hog roast as part of a big dinner.

They also made sure some music was on hand, including this group complete with a washtub bass (I  missed the name of the band).  The afternoon was delightful, with warm thoughts, warm food, and warm friendships.

one year ago…”The Reconstruction Begins”.

October 4, 2008 – Hops Harvest

I’m guessing its time for the hops harvest.  I’m a newbie at this, so if anybody out there knows the best time to harvest hops in this part of the country, give me a shout out.

They’ve grown very well on a 16 foot cattle panel propped up against the shed. I wasn’t sure how they’d do with the heat from the western sun bouncing off the wall, but they do fine.

These are Cascade Hops which I’m told are good finishing hops.

one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #90″.