November is an interesting month in Northeastern Pennsylvania - one day it can be 65 degrees and downright balmy, thirty six hours later the thermometer can be hovering around 10 degrees. We are currently in one of those cold snaps and the old Kalamazoo wood burning furnace has been pressed into round the clock service.
|Safety precaution to prevent falling ice and snow|
|Lessons on the farm - be sure to secure side flaps to prevent frost.|
One project the Benner brothers really enjoyed this month was the spinning down of a few combs of our own honey. This was the first year for doing this, as last year with a new colony, we felt it best to leave all the honey for the bees for winter food (honeybees do not hibernate, they keep their wings moving inside the hive so as to generate enough heat to keep from freezing). Once or twice a winter they will exit the hive on a warm day to defecate - a necessity. We borrowed a friend's antique galvanized hand spinner and cranked away for an hour or so, producing around 10 lbs of most delicious, light-colored honey.
This year we decided to focus on what we do best - raising happy and healthy pastured poultry, and
instead of slaughtering and butchering them ourselves, Dave took the birds on a short ride to the McDonald family's butchering operation at their 200 acre farm. Eighty year old Florence raved about the quality of our birds, and the first young rooster we roasted did not disappoint. A 20 lb hen turkey is thawing in the refrigerator at this very moment for Thursday festivities.
|Al pulls carrots. Asparagus to right has since been cut|
We have harvested most all of our carrots now and all the beets are in. The only crops left standing in the garden moving toward December are a few brussel sprout plants, a double row of rutabagas, and a double row of dinosaur kale.
We've been really enjoying an Ethiopian Potato/Cabbage/Carrot/Onion dish that is seasoned with cumin, turmeric, salt, and pepper and sauteed in lots of olive oil. Look up the recipe online - you won't be disappointed. We've also been steaming our beets and then simmering these in a pan with some cumin and curry along with a few spoonfuls of yogurt and olive oil - very tasty.
|The deer blind where Al saw his two young bucks|
Enjoy all the fun photos below...
Be well -
Your Friends at Old School Farm
|A poor potato year, but what we have are in the springhouse|
|Cracking shellbark hickory nuts with "Pop B."|
|The Benner family visits good friend and fellow farmer, Pat Knight |
in New Hope, PA. Pat on left, Sue Benner on right. Thanks for the nuts Pat!
|Deena Benner sautes up several pounds of giant puffball mushrooms|
|Fall colors for duck weed and water cress|
|Oh so sweet Grex beets|
|Fall Buck Rub|
|Cornucopia of winter squash in guest bedroom|
|Young Milk Snake|
|Sweet Potatoes dug|
|Buddies for Life|
|Living Room Acoustic set (Dave may be on tour soon :)|
|Some of these birds found their way from our hillside to the freezer|
|Grape vine fun|
|The right ash sapling|
|Being sawn to length & then split in half for two bows|
|The Archer with an audience of chickens (they kept wandering to the target to pick at hay bale!)|
|Slippery Elm Stump - soon to become a kid's thrown|
|Coleman and his new bow|
|The rooftop beds again produce lots of carrots|
|Dave uses a hot knife to remove the wax caps|
|Al turns the crank to create centrifugal force|
|Honey flows out, and through strainer once valve is opened|
|10 lbs of "Old School" honey - we left a lot more for the bees for winter|
|Dave carving off meat for grinding|
|Free Range, organic turkey burger - slow to cook and very flavorful|
|Freya, Uncas Jr. , and Olive bulk up for winter|
|A nice buck in a neighbor's field searches for corn kernels|
|The vibrant green of winter rye|
|Our motley crew of some half-breed chickens and two Spanish Black turkeys - |
one is a male, so we are looking good for having our own poults come spring
|Carrots and Kale|
|The final carrot harvest|
|The old Ferguson is put away for winter|