Friday, October 25, 2013

My word...
I certainly have been away for quite a while again, haven't I?

Summer passed rather quickly, except for the few hot and humid spells we endured... they always seem to last forever. The vegetable garden started out well, but once the guineas, ducks and chickens found their way in, that put quite a dent in things. I managed to harvest onions, rhubarb, basil, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, and garlic, but aside from a few cucumbers early on and four pumpkins (and perhaps that many zucchini) that escaped the ducks and chickens feet and beaks, there was little else to brag about. However, the raspberries are still producing even though we've had a few good frosts. (I picked 3 quarts just the other morning as it was spitting snow, and finally managed to make a batch of jam.) There have been plenty of apples on the trees this year, so mom and I have pressed a good 10+ gallons of cider.  My dear friend Martha brought over three big bags of her apples, and combined with the varieties grown here, we had some of the best cider we've ever made!

The last few weeks have been spent clearing away brush along one side of the roadway to allow sunlight and growing room for the sugar maples that are maturing here. There is a beautiful old stone wall along that whole stretch which has tumbled down over the years, so we have been repairing and repiling stones... very painstaking work! It is amazing how many stones are piled underneath the ground all around the area of the wall. As the layers of soil and leaves are pulled back, there suddenly appears a good one-to-two-feet or more of additional stone wall from out of the ground. It is humbling to realize the easy part we have of reconstructing this wall... we simply have to dig about within two or three feet of the wall remnant to gather the once-piled stones and replace them into the wall. I cannot help but imagine the work required long ago in digging all those stones out of the surrounding fields, transporting them to the perimeters without the use of a tractor; perhaps only a stoneboat, and then stacking those stones into what was easily a 3 foot wide by 4 foot tall by several hundred foot long wall...

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