Summer of bounty, The Great 2018 Vehicle Swap, and Gathering your harvest for canning and dehydration…get ready for our decade annual winter storms

Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of blogging for over a month…Paula and I have been just buried with veggie production of squash, tomatoes (oh man the amount of tomatoes), and cucumbers.

Summer of bounty
Here’s some quick details for what we’re doing with our 2018 garden bounty:

  • We’ve dehydrated about 10 quart jars of tomatoes (Montesino F1 grape and Matt’s Wild cherry).
  • Paula also started dehydrating our squash; she’s spiraled and cubed to test which dehydrates better (I think she likes the spiralized since they really compress down nicely for storing with our vacuum food saver).
  • We’ve had so many of the Matt’s Wild cherry tomatoes we have been just grabbing them by the bunch, stripping them from the vines and tossing into the food dehydrator trays.
  • Paula has canned approximately 20 pint jars of tomato ketchup using our Crimson Sprinter, Moskvich, and Pink Boar tomatoes. I have to note that the Pink Boar has a rich smokey taste that is to die for! Wow…I cannot believe how good of ketchup this makes. Paula gets definite gold-star for her efforts here. 🙂
  • The eggplants are the only disappointment for 2018; with the rabbit eating 4 of them off at the base before I was able to trap it and relocate to a nearby park. We really had lack luster performance. I think next year I’ll put these in a garden box with only our low growing plants like cabbage and broccoli. Having them mixed with our squash and sunflowers meant they had to fight for every scrap of sunshine, which meant all their efforts were spent trying to grow instead of setting fruit. Live and learn, next year we know to isolate them.

The Great 2018 Vehicle Swap
So this past month we’ve been busy little beaver-state’rs with regard to transportation

  • We sold my Prius commuter car to our daughter. Her little VW bug she’s been driving since High School has been giving her some trouble with electrical issues (won’t start at times like the battery’s dead). Since she also does acting work in some areas where I would say there are “questionable” characters roaming around Paula and I decided we wanted to help her out and sell her our Prius for a really good deal.
  • At this same time Paula and I were looking to retire our other vehicle that we purchased when our kids were still pre-teen and just getting into high school as our snowboarding transportation. This was our Hummer H3…yes I know…this was pre-Brian Permaculture/Regenerative agriculture zealot. It has been a sore spot with me for a long time as the Hummer brand was synonymous with “gluttonous” excess and wee’ing on the environment. 🙂

With the sale of our two main vehicles we needed to get something else. We looked at a number of vehicles (new Toyota Prius, but didn’t like current styling) another SUV type (Toyota 4Runner/Tacoma). Then we thought we’d look at the Subaru’s as we’ve always been outdoorsy people…oh boy. We both fell for the Crosstrek the moment we sat inside and took it for a test drive. These aren’t your stock new “off the shelf” vehicles either. These have the full suspension 1.5″ lift, custom tires, all-terrain mud tires, roof racks, spoiler, mudd flaps, etc…. Here’s a picture of mine (Paula’s is still having the modifications like the lift-kit and accessories added):

Besides all this “vehicle shuffling” I’ve been spending time working on the house remodeling again…this kind of went on the back-burner with spring/summer/fall gardening and harvest. But with the return of the rains and cooler weather it’s time to return to indoor projects. First on the list is to get our second master bedroom/master bath finished. I’ve installed the wood flooring in the bedroom and am now working on getting the closet doors installed. After these are in I’ll finish all of the trim…then it’s time for Paula and I to stain everything to a matching rich brown color. During my winter vacation this December it will be time to rewire/plumb in the bathroom, install all the cement board and tile the new stand-up shower stall and the seperate soaking tub. It’s a lot of work, but once completed that will be our first of the completed bathroom remodels (we’ll still have the main master bedroom and guest bathroom to gut and rebuild). For winter/spring 2019 Paula and I are thinking about cutting back on the gardening (more annual flowers). This will allow for a little break to spend some time traveling Oregon to visit some sites to hike (a past time we’ve not been able to do for many years due to my deep-dive into the world of Permaculture/Regenerative Agriculture). Don’t worry, we’ll still be bringing along the video equipment to film for the Youtube channel; we want to share our adventures in the new Subi TrekTreks with all of you. 🙂

Gathering your harvest for canning and dehydration…get ready for our decade annual winter storms
From what I’ve seen this year on our urban homestead the trees are telling me from low leaf count on the maples (and over abundance of seed pods) along with the Japanese maples having yellow streaking in their leaf veining (not their normal deep red/purple coloring) this will be a very cold winter. Paula and I have seen this 3 times in our time together on our urban homestead with this kind of 10 year winter storm cycle: 1998, 2008, and now presumably 2018. All of the previous cycles have had delivered extreme cold with heavy snow loads.

  • 1998 we saw ice sheeting here over 1″ on the roads and power outages
  • 2008 we saw anywhere from 10″-18″ of snow load that brought down many trees on the roads, stalling transportation, and causing power outages for up to a week at a time.
  • 2018??? we’ll have to wait and see.

Have a great fall week everyone

Ok, this has been just a quick update. Soon it will be time to start our indoor grow tents with our salad/kale production to feed us over the winter and who knows…maybe Paula and I will be able to get out for some adventures this winter (heading up to Mt. Hood to do a little snow shoeing). Be sure to follow us on our Youtube channel: PnB Homesteading Youtube Channel

Have a safe and productive week everyone! 🙂