Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Harvests, Thanksgiving and my heart.

So, it seems I've missed the last several Harvest Mondays. I was in Alabama for 2 of them, but that is not a good excuse.

My harvests have included lemons and limes an orange (last to ripen) all of the citrus totals to about 15 pounds. There is still more on the tree but maybe only another 10 pounds to come. I also harvested the last of my bush sweet potatoes. I left the purple ones out in the garden as they were flowering profusely. Hopefully I'll still manage a few more tubers from them. I also pulled up all the mint in the garden. It was invading the grass and I just decided it's time to start over. While the raised beds are doing fine the other beds are looking run down and shabby. I wasn't able to beat whatever fungus has taken a hold of the dirt and so it sits. I'm sure to replant soon enough and maybe the drier winter weather will help.

In the raised beds I've got cauliflower, broccoli and brussel sprouts growing. It the first time for the sprouts for me. Hubby adores them and the kids and I - well... they are edible I guess. LOL. Then again, I despise cabbage, go figure! There are a few carrots out there as well, but the seed was old so not a ton of the have sprouted. I'll just keep reseeding them until it's too warm. I need to get rid of the old seed before I purchase new anyhow!

A couple of my blueberry bushes are bare now and a few are already forming buds (BAD!) We just got our first frost this morning and it was unexpected. With a temperature of 45* it shouldn't have happened. Strange how fickle Mother Nature is. I hope my tomato plant is still alive tomorrow!

Thanksgiving was interesting. This year we were able to harvest our turkey from the property. It was really something special for us.The hunting season is not normally open for turkey in the fall where the property is, so this was the first opportunity we've had to do this. While we have enough land and no one bothers us, we would never risk losing our hunting capabilities for a turkey dinner taken illegally. I'm so happy that the state opened a 3 day window for turkey just before Thanksgiving. For the first time we were able to put a turkey that we harvested their on our property on the table for Thanksgiving. I can't think of any better way to celebrate a Thanksgiving or anything to be more thankful for. It really opened our hearts and made us feel even closer to the land.

Now, I've heard so many people talk about how wild turkey is virtually inedible. Doesn't taste right, it's tough, it's this or that. Most people that hunt turkey do so more for sport and it sickens me. Other people harvest only the breast meat and they deep fry it. But, I'm here to tell you that it IS worth eating. It IS good food! AN,d it can be cooked like any other turkey. It just takes a little prep time. We harvested our turkey on Monday. On Tuesday I put it in a brine. (LOVELY brine I might add, Thanks Pioneer Woman for the recipe!) On Wednesday I flipped the bird in the brine and on Thursday I put it in the roaster. It didn't fit. SURPRISE! So I hauled out the counter top extra large roaster... it still didn't fit! I put the top on it and then had to weight the top down with pots, making my cooking even more precarious than normal. I'm klutzy enough on my own after all. After about an hour the whole house smelled divine. After 2.5 hours we started picking off done pieces. By the time we actually served the turkey? HA! We had already eaten a third of it. :-) Was it tough and dry? By the standards of saline injected turkeys that never leave a 10'x10' enclosure and are harvested by 6 months of age, yes. It was tougher. BUT it was not so tough as to be any kind of deterrent to doing it again. Besides, the fact that the lid did not fit on the roaster correctly surely contributed to the dryness because the moisture was not contained. It was delicious! It was not the kind of dry that I've had from plenty of other grocery store turkeys.It was not as tough as the first turkey I ever cooked. LOL. And it will definitely be something that we strive to do every Thanksgiving now.

As for pics? Thought you'd never ask! Besides, I wanted to give those squeamish people a chance to read first. My son Troy harvested this bird, and I couldn't have been prouder.

There was only one issue with this harvest. It made my heart sore. Not because we took the life of this beautiful bird. Never that. The bird was fed by us the last few months and we not only enjoy the meat but we are very thankful for the birds sacrifice. 

My heart was sore because after Thanksgiving and this wonderful experience we had to turn around 2 days later and LEAVE. My heart, my soul, does not belong here in the city. Pollution makes me sick - quite literally here. I can't stand the constant push and shove. Rude people, traffic, noise...UGH. 

Please, don't get me wrong. I KNOW the life I want is a hard life. Living off the land is not easy. By no means do I think it's a fairy tale I'm asking for. But, the ability to slow down, breathe fresh air, SEE the stars at night? I'd rather be working outside than in. So I am heart-sore as my children are every time we leave. I always knew I wanted to move there, but right here and now it's more that. I need to. So, we readjust our way of thinking and look again at our timeline, but no matter how we look at it in order to move we must first build, and at least one of us needs a good job there. Building there cannot happen right now, much less not having insurance or an income.

We took on the responsibility so we will stick it out here even though we both want this other life. Now, I just need to find something to focus on here so I can get back in the game.

See you soon,


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