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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

fall activities

There's a blurb in this month's Sunset magazine about Logan, which is just over the mountain from us. They recommend hiking the Crimson Trail, which John has done but I have not. I think we'll try it in the next couple of weekends with our kids--it will help them get some wiggles out. When we were there on Labor Day we stopped at an apple orchard in Paradise and got some apples and cider. They let their chickens run around in the orchard and say it helps keep the bugs down--I think that's a great idea. Fauntleroy does present a problem, however. He's a teensy bit vicious, and I don't think we could just let them run loose all the time. Someday when he's gone to the great henhouse in the sky we'll let the ladies out into the yard more often.

We're going to plant squashes in the garden spot instead of a fruit tree. I have accepted my true nature as a cucurbitaceaephile, and we're going to turn that spot into Squash Mountain. I cooked a Hubbard squash last night and I have now eaten the entire thing myself. It was transcendant. I love winter squash so much I want to marry it and have little hard-skinned babies full of seeds, packed with beta carotene and suitable for long-term storage.

I made applesauce last night and it is The New Huff Family Way. It's chunky and I eat it warm, so it's like eating apple pie filling. John has always hated applesauce, but he likes this. Plus I leave the skins on, which helps the fiber content some.

We need to collect some of the goat manure and till it into the ground over behind the lilac bushes and improve the soil a little, even though it's already the nicest dirt on the property. The dirt here in Honeyville is so much richer than that nonsense we had in Lehi. I couldn't make a clay pot out of this stuff if my life depended on it. But here's a little-known fact: poop is super heavy, and difficult to transport when you don't have a goat-drawn manure spreader. Or any other kind of manure spreader, for that matter. So I'm afraid it's going to be a long slog of filling the wheelbarrow with the pitchfork, then driving it over to the garden and dumping it. Rinse and repeat several hundred times.

Here are some things I want to plant in our new, improved garden spaces next year:

Potatoes
Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Leeks
Onions
Tomatoes
Garlic
Swiss chard
Mesclun
Mache
Zucchini
Straightneck squash
Buttercup squash
Hubbard squash (the blue variety, because that's my grandma's favorite)
Green beans
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Radishes
Rhubarb
Kale
Basil
Cilantro
Dill
Parsley
Pattypan squash (a better variety next year--I hated the stuff we got this time)
Pumpkins
Spaghetti squash

My family makes squash pie, not pumpkin pie, and we like to use Blue Hubbard. Also, we cook the filling and shells separately, then fill the cooked shells with squash and eat it immediately. This is so much better than any other pumpkin pie recipe, I don't know why people bother with eating it any other way. I hate those crusts that are somehow soggy and leathery at the same time. This way you get crisp, flaky crust with perfectly creamy innards. Yum!

It's time to cut the hay again, if we can get more than a day without rain. It's never a lot of rain, but it comes just often enough to prevent any cut from being able to dry.

We're going to try to get our kids through a corn maze this year--I think they'd love it. It's so crazy expensive, though, you kind of just want to wander around in your neighbor's field for free.

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