The weather has fluctuated this week from feeling like a hot humid July weekend to crisp cool October days. Chicken butchering was scheduled on a day with a brisk wind which meant for chilly fingers and toes. It has also been dry for a stretch which made it perfect for gathering seeds for saving along with teas and herbs to dehydrate. Having the dehydrator running has the side benefit of taking the chill off the kitchen and adding some delightful aromatherapy to the house. Plus I'm looking forward to making some unique tea blends for winter enjoyment using peppermint, lemon balm, lemon verbena, apple mint, tarragon, nettles, horehound, calendula, stevia and more. One of the seeds I am saving this year is from my Mexican Sour Gherkins or mouse melons. It grows on a petite cucumber type vine and they hang like tiny Christmas ornaments. They have a crisp pleasant sour pickle flavor. When they fall off the vine is the time to gather them for seeds.
This is my last week for making full veggie baskets for my weekly customers and then I'll just have salad bags and greens till I run short. I'm looking forward to having more time to read and be creative with some new things. An abundance of milk meant I needed to squeeze in some time to attempt making some hard cheeses this week. Olin coached me along and here I am with my first wheel of Romano cheese. It's amazing how 3 gallons of milk can be reduced to a chunk of cheese and a sea of whey. Some other things on the creative agenda are trying some different homemade paper methods, attempting to create Thanksgiving centerpieces from gourds and dried seed heads, and my kids are begging to try painting on slate we salvaged from the neighbor.