Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cleaning and processing Chantrelle mushrooms

If you are lucky enough to find some of these delectable forest treats, then you need to clean them so you can eat them, and dry or freeze them. I think the most important rule is to keep everything dry.Introducing water makes a mess. Dry brushes are the best tools for the job. I picked my mushrooms in an old growth forest where I felt their surroundings were pretty pristine. That really helps to know they are free from pollution. The ones I picked were covered with fir needles, some dirt, and bits of this and that from the trees above. No bugs. Again, that helps to know they are ready to clean the rest of the way. I haven't seen bugs on Chantrelles, but I guess there cold be anything that might be in the woods anyway. So using a stiff painting brush, I start sweeping the debris away. If there is any convolution with dirt in it, I use the tip of my knife to flick it out. I can also use the side of the blade to scrape lightly if there is any tissue brown or damaged. As a last result, I can trim any of the mushroom off that isn't going to clean up.

Cut clean mushrooms into thick slices for drying or chunks for freezing. I dry saute the chunks until they have reabsorbed the moisture that fills in around them as they are cooking. They are a wonderful addition to spaghetti, pizza, stroganoff, or any other meat dish.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Diary 10/30/14

Fresh out of the forest floor duff, these Chantrelles were hiding until uncovered. We found over seven pounds of both choice white Chantrelles and the more common plain yellow Chantrelles this afternoon at about 4000 foot level. It has not been very cold yet and with a couple days break from rain, they were just popping up and in perfect condition. Now to clean them and get them ready for the next step...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Diary 10/29/14

"Red skies in the morning, sailors take warning..." It is so gloomy, it might as well rain!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Diary 10/28/14

With all the rain and warm temperatures, there are several mushrooms popping up. So far nothing I know to be edible, but maybe if I take a drive up to the high terrain and old growth trees, I could find some Chantrelles~

Monday, October 27, 2014

Diary 10/27/14

The trees had been turning brown in lieu of a fall color show, but now the rain seems to have slowed everything down. The bit of color is coming slowly and as we have not had a freeze, the leaf fall has been minimum except where the winds have helped to release the oak leaves from their branches.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diary 10/22/14

I have returned from a northern sojourn to see old friends and young grandchildren. It was a wonderful visit, though I am left a little melancholy for not living closer and being more a part of their lives. For now, the brief time will have to suffice to remind them all how much I love them.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Diary 10/16/14

Going far a'field for a few days...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Diary 10/15/14

Went to our annual pumpkin decorating party last weekend. It was a perfect day for it, warm and sunny, but with the nip early and late to remember it was Autumn, not summer. These are some views of the deck of my friend, Cheryl, who hosts the party. It was incredibly beautiful to arrive to...She has such an interior decorators knack~


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Diary 10/14/14

The rain arrived late today. It is so welcome. The air felt full all afternoon. I twas cozy and dark until the clouds became too heavy and finally it started coming down. Hurray!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Diary 10/13/14

I saw the most amazing thing on yesterday down in the valley. There were about 80 to 100 vultures all circling in a huge circle as if there were a dead animal below. Only there were so many of them. All around the edges and off in the distance others were flying in to join them. It was a reunion of sorts. I think I have seen a smaller version of this before, but never so many together. They were all planning on flying south together. They don't go too far for winter, some just to the Sacramento area, so the flight would not take them long, and they were all going to go together. What happens on the other end? Would they fan out to their winter favorite places? I think when they return in March that they come to the valley first and then break off into groups to get back to the areas they will live in over the summer. I am going to pay better attention. Phenomenal vultures~

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Diary 10/11/14

This has certainly been wildlife week here at the farm. Yesterday I saw an owl, pretty good sized one, in the dead, broken topped, leaning tree on the right in this picture. Of course he wasn't there waiting for me today when I came with my camera, but you get the idea.  Rain and cool temperatures due in a couple days, that will really change things around here. Trying to get cover crop planted, tractors winterized, and the last of the tomatoes canned before they start cracking and getting black spots. It is high time for all this, overdue~

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Diary 10/9/14

I just figured out why the Ruffed Grouse was going up in the laurel tree to roost. That tree is loaded with berries. You can see some in the first picture, the clumps of orange berries to the right of the chicken-like bird.The berries aren't red yet, but that doesn't seem to matter. It is a Bed and Breakfast for grouse!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Diary 10/8/14

After digging the last of the potatoes, weeding another bed for winter cover, and hauling home another armful of onions, I decided it was time to face the housekeeping I have avoided of late. When I don't have any out-of-towners coming in for awhile, I tend to do a mediocre job of keeping the house clean. Today, I worked into that next layer and see that there is much to do. The good thing is, I am the only one who knows the dirt and dust that is waiting. Well, except now you~

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Diary 10/7/14

The little black figs are finally ready. So far the foxes haven't discovered them. Instead, they have been concentrating on the one yellow fig tree. The black figs are delicious partly because they have been underwatered and thus seem to have forced more sugar into their fruits, attempting to make seeds. The only problem is that their leaves are super scratchy and keep giving me hives if I rub against them very much~

Monday, October 6, 2014

Diary 10/6/14

Cleaning up the last bits and pieces, getting ready to disk for cover crop planting. This is really it, frost or not. Still have lots of produce coming from the greenhouses, but I pull something out everyday. Powdery mildew has set in on the squash, the onions that are not finished will not make a bulb, the last few cucumbers are small with pointy ends, but still taste wonderful. Sad to see it end, but ready for a change~

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Diary 10/5/14

Even an eight year old cat couldn't resist his fascination with the dripping faucet. One of life's mysteries is where does that water go and what is that noise?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Who's eating the plums?

So, success with game cam #2!

Obviously, I didn't reset the date and time...

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Diary 10/2/14

Our next door neighbor saw a bear in the plum trees by the greenhouses when he left for work a couple mornings ago. I put up a game camera last night and then remembered I had forgotten to put a camera card in. So, tonight I have reset the game cam with SD card and hoping for a photo of something other than the usual skunk! I'll let you know...