August Homestead Photos

Dateline: 6 August 2006

It has been a warm, sunny August weekend with low humidity and a pleasant breeze. The weather just doesn’t get much better than that. We have been very busy around our homestead this weekend. Here are a few photos from this morning and yesterday.


Potatoes to the left of me, beans to the right, grape vines behind, the rising morning sun ahead, and beautiful blue sky above, here I am tilling up the earth where my garlic was harvested two weeks ago. The straw mulch and some weeds were removed and tossed into the chicken yard where they will eventually be transformed into compost. I am tilling one pass and will broadcast buckwheat seed. The buckwheat comes up fast and helps to choke out weeds. Before it goes to seed, I will till the buckwheat into the ground as a “green manure” and then I’ll probably plant rye seed to hold the soil over the winter. Then, in the spring, it will be tilled in for more green manure. This photo was taken by my son, Robert.

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Here’s a shot into the chicken yard. A “chicken door” into the henhouse is in front of the hen. The vine growing behind is a winter squash that came up on its own in the compost pile behind the fence. That compost pile will be what I use next season.

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Here’s what those Mangle Beet seeds from David Taylor and Heirloom Acres Seeds have produced. This beet is about 2-inches in diameter. It has a way to go before it is 15 to 20 pounds.

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Our onions are doing well. These are Copra onions. They store well through the winter. I bought sets from Johnnys. They looled pitiful when I planted them but there comes a time when they just take off and really grow.

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The green beans are perfectly ripe, tender and tasty raw from the plant. Marlene will be freezing lots this week. She hopes to make dilly beans (pickled) this week too.

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This is my favorite photo of the bunch! I’m so pleased and grateful for the crop of grapes God has blessed us with this year. These are Concord grapes. They will turn purple and, when the air turns cold, they will get sweet and juicy. We will use them to make canned grape juice. Sooooo good!

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Marci said...

Great pictures. It seems August starts to be the busiest of months. Where do you have room to let all your garlic dry? We don't have a basement and none of our barns would work. I am always looking for ideas.

Scott Holtzman said...

Great looking grapes there Herrick, Brooke has her 'eye' on ours, and is eager for their ripening. Though we have far fewer vines here, alas no juice, but many a tasty snack! The visual benefit of growing vines alone are worth their growing and tending for us.

CountryGoalie said...

I've never heard of canning grape juice. Is it the sort of process that you could take a photographic tour through when the time comes to make it?

Also, what kind of canner do you use? Would you recommend it? What was the cost?

My apologies for all of the questions, but I am looking at putting in a garden next year and I'm trying to research whether or not a canner would be a good investment at this time, as I'm headed off to college in a little over a year and thus might just wait until I'm finished with college to make such a big purchase. On the other hand, with the way our country's economical situation is... part of me just wants to turn this place into a fully-functional small farm in the least amount of time possible. That could just be my panic button, though. ;P

Thank you for any tips you can give me.

Herrick Kimball said...

Hi Country Goalie,

We use a Mehu-Liisa steam juicer to make juice out of grapes. It makes the whole process very easy. The steamer is kind of expensive but it should last a lifetime. I will take photos of the process in the fall. Do a google search on the name and I'm sure you will come up with lots of info.