September

Key Tasks

Plant daikon and forage radishes. Plant fall veg (brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, collards, and kale). Place under row cover to protect from grasshoppers and other insects. Prune blueberries. Resist the urge to plant lettuce in September. It’s too early, and it will bolt. wait until mid October.

September 1

2015

Eric Cagle dropped by this morning to change out an interlock switch on the dryer, and he and I spent some time looking at the barn and the lodge. He and his wife are considering a metal building for their home. Then I moved the chickens, and helped Amanda hang out clothes. Then I buried a drip irrigation hose on row 7 of the orchard. Then I repaired the trellis line on Row 1 of the orchard, which turned out to be more tiring than I was expecting. This afternoon was mostly quiet work.

2014

Spent the whole day helping Betty and Andy Stricker clean up their back yard and burn the wood that had been lying back there. We kept a fire going all day and kept adding to it. They had a round bale of hay they didn’t want (too much sage), so we were able to load it in Cracker, and I unloaded it near the entrance to Veg Hill. It should work well for us. I was about as tired as I’ve ever been tonight.

2013

Good morning at church, and then we stayed for general cleanup. We now have a library!

September 2

2015

This morning first thing, I finished the script for a video on framing up a shot for an instructional video. But most of the day was about getting our whole house fan installed and working properly here in the barn. Scott Ruppert was due here late morning, so I set up ladders and got the extension cord rigged up so he would have power up above the apartment. He worked amazingly fast, cutting a hole in the subfloor, measuring the hole to cut in the ceiling, and then cutting it. Fortunately, the spot we picked for the fan didn’t have any wires or plumbing, so that wasn’t a problem. After marking the hole above, we marked it with four nails through the ceiling and then cut the ceiling from below. Then I held the fan in place while he screwed the grill to it. We then built a protective wall in front of the spot where the fan met the subfloor to protect against damaging the fan’s tube with stray construction materials.

2014

Spent the morning getting ready for and then appearing on Channel 12’s Alabama Live program to promote Murder at Graveyard Creek. Then a session this afternoon. So hot. So hot.

2013

Spent the morning at the church mowing the grass. This afternoon was mostly time for quiet work. Picked a full basket of muscadines and froze them to enjoy later.

September 3

2015

Started with a trip to Channel 12 to record our appearance on Alabama Live for Labor Day. Then to a little shopping, a quick visit with Mama, lunch, and a little more shopping. Then back to the farm, where I bush hogged and mowed around the lodge. This evening Adrian joined us for supper; it was good to have her back.

2014

Trellised two of Amanda’s tomatoes this morning and then ran to the Strickers’ farm to gather some of the firewood segments I had already cut. When we had the truck full, I left to return to the farm, and then drove to town to meet Tripp Storm and deliver computer speakers to him. This afternoon I cut up the rest of the downed sweetgum south of the orchard and split it. Then I split and stacked about 1/3 of the truckload. As things stand now, Pallet #8 is out on the orchard floor, and Pallet #9 is about half full. I had to stop for a coaching session. I’ll take up here tomorrow.

September 4

2015

Amanda was gone all day to Birmingham. I started the day with quiet work. Then I mowed the grass around the barn. Then I moved the chickens. Then I pulled the splitter down off the pallet rack and was delighted to have it crank right up on the first try. Moved the splitter and an empty pallet into position on the pavilion floor so they’ll be ready for us to use tomorrow. Then I bush hogged around the orchard. Then I used the chain saw to cut up all of Andy Stricker’s logs so we can split them tomorrow. Then I used the weedeater around the fire pit.

This afternoon after putting together a Resources list for the Lunch & Learn next week, I gave Oddie a bath and a haircut. Then I blew off the pavilion and porch.

2014

Started the day recording the podcast and taking the picture for it showing Amanda with her Edamame. Then I finished splitting and loading firewood onto Pallet #9 from the Strickers’ sweetgum tree. Then I moved the chickens. As things stand now, we have Pallets 12 (1/2 loaded) and 1 under cover and dry as a bone. We have Pallets 2-9 on the orchard floor getting full exposure to the elements. #10 is 1/4 full, and #11 is empty. So I have 1 3/4 pallets that I need to fill, and then all the pallets that can be filled will be filled. There’s still a little wood left at the Strickers, but I’m not sure when we’ll be able to get in to get it because we’re locked in a wet weather pattern. We had our dress rehearsal for Murder at Graveyard Creek tonight, and it went smoothly but for sound cues.

September 5

2014

Spent most of the day addressing Adrian’s cues for the play tonight. We started out planning to use an extension from the computer in the foyer to the computer speakers in the big room, but Tom Bray suggested that we use the church’s amplifier and speaker instead. They sounded great. I took them to the Guest House and got everything set up and the speaker wire taped down with Blue Tape, then returned to the farm for a shower and a nap before the show. Tonight the show went smoothly and the audience loved it. So proud of my daughter!

September 6

2014

This morning I did quiet work until it was time to shower and dress for Llwwd Williams’ memorial service. Picked up a hose nozzle at True Value on the way to the service. This afternoon I rested and watched a little bit of the Alabama Florida Atlantic football game, but the game was called for lightning. I did manage to pick a fresh load of muscadines. Tonight we had the final performance of Murder at Graveyard Creek. Just a fun experience all around. I’m sorry to see it end so soon, but it will be nice to have the time back.

2013

Great morning at church with the Blessing of the Animals. What fun! This afternoon we talked with Russ Hopfenberg for the podcast. Tough subject and the podcast ran long. Need to make sure we have a short program next week.

September 7

2015

Home all day and really enjoyed the holiday. I picked about 12 pounds of Noble muscadines, which when coupled with the 5 pounds picked since the last tally, brings the total to 41 pounds for the season. Lots more still out there. This afternoon I put on ribs and put the finishing touches on the slides for our Lunch & Learn program on cover crops tomorrow.

2014

Sunday School and church this morning, then Adrian and I drove to Montgomery to have lunch with Mama while Amanda had vestry meeting at the church. Then a nap, then I sat and watched the Alabama game with Florida Atlantic. How delightful! Today I swapped batteries in the gate opener.

September 8

2015

This was our Lunch & Learn on cover crops. Went well, and people really seemed to appreciate the seed giveaway. This afternoon we worked mostly indoors during a fairly steady rain.

2014

This morning I brought down a small oak and a towering poplar south of the Orchard. Then I bucked, split, and stacked the oak and made good progress on the poplar. Pallet #10 is a little more than half full. I would have made more progress, but I had to knock off early to help restore the Guest House after the murder mystery. Pallet #10 is a little more than half full now, and I should be able to get it filled and on the orchard floor tomorrow. So that will leave only Pallet #11 before we have all the pallets full. Feel good to see that coming together!

September 9

2015

Picked 8 pounds of muscadines today, bringing the season total to 49 pounds.

2014

This morning I finished bucking, splitting and stacking the big poplar. Pallet #10 is filled and sitting on the orchard floor now, and #11 is about 1/4 full. Quiet work this afternoon, including mixing up toll house brownies for the lunch we’re providing on Thursday for Lavonne and Mike. I bathed and groomed Oddie late this afternoon. He always seems to be more energetic and animated after getting groomed.

September 10

2015

This morning I brought down the stub of an oak tree south of the barn. I decided that I need a lighter weight option for keeping tension on a tree I’m bringing down, so later today I bought 27 feet of 1/4″ aircraft cable and four 1/4″ wire nuts. This afternoon I fashioned them into a lightweight 25 foot pulling cable I can place at the end of a come-along or chain.

Today at mid-day I helped the other CAMGA board members feed the interns lunch. Then to Epiphany to help Maurice with the grounds. Tonight was the wine & cheese reception for MCAC. Delightful, but very poorly attended.

2014

I spent all of this morning at Betty Stricker’s house burning wood we cannot use and loading up what we can. This afternoon I brought it back and have now filled up Pallet #11, so we have a full 12 pallets (three cords) of firewood. Yea! There’s a little more left in the truck, which I will split and stack in the next few days and leave out in the sunshine. Then when we empty Pallet #12 we’ll have wood to place on it.

September 11

2014

I found my first evidence of plum curculio in the orchard this morning. Now it begins.

2013

Picked the muscadines on one black beauty this morning and had enough to fill up a baking sheet and add some to the basket we took to EfM. The afternoon was all about EfM and working at the church. The apples are done now, and the pears are almost finished – maybe 4-5 still left. The persimmons are looking promising. We still have figs forming. The catfish are about 10 inches long now and ravenous. We’re going through a large canister of feed each afternoon and probably could feed them more.

September 13

2013

Appointment with Weeks in Auburn this morning, then to church to change the colors in the nave with Jimmy and to work on the bulletin. Then home to rest and feed the fish.

September 14

2013

Decided this morning that the deep freeze couldn’t wait any longer and needed to be defrosted. Moved everything either into the freezer of the barn or a well-packed ice chest and turned the deep freeze off. Went in to the church to print the bulletin this morning and remembered that the doorknob was still off at the Little House. While the bulletin was printing, I tried putting it back on before learning from Sam Jones that it was broken and would never go back on. Ran to True Value, where Jeremy fixed me up with a new doorknob and keyed it to match the existing lock. It went on fairly easily. Then home, where I cleaned the deep freeze out and turned it back on. Then lunch and a brief nap. Then I put everything back in the deep freeze and milled some flour before the main event of the day, the Alabama Texas A&M game, with Mama as our guest.

September 15

2015

Yesterday and today are basically two lost days, but I think I was where I needed to be and doing what I needed to do. Started yesterday with driving Amanda and Adrian (and Susan and Lynn) to ATL in Joyce Vella’s van. Then Joyce and I shopped at Trader Joe’s before lunch and heading home. Then I worked for several hours on the photosynthesis presentation before bed at 8:30. Then up at 2:30 am to continue working. Then the presentation today, followed by a catch-up nap. Feeling human again now.

This afternoon I moved the chickens, uploaded the audio file of the meeting for Rosemary Mobley, removed the right rear tire (flat) from Adrian’s car, and fed the fish.

September 16

2015

I installed the new head on my Stihl trimmer this morning. So far it seems to work no better than the one I had before. I may have to search for another head online, because this is the only one they could sell me at Farmers Feed. I did manage to trim around the blueberries on the Blueberry Strip. Then to the church to help get the nave, Little House, and grounds ready for the Harris funeral. I spent a couple of hours on the phone this afternoon with Dell dealing with the issue involving my battery. We started by updating all the drivers, but I think that’s unlikely to have solved the problem. This afternoon we unpacked and shelved all the food for Beans & Rice. The Little House looks great now and is ready for the Harris family.

2014

Drove to Auburn this morning for an opthalmological exam. Good news: the lesions that were visible in the last exam are no longer evident. Met Don Bryant south of Tallassee, and we drove to Montgomery together to be interviewed by Carolyn Hutcheson about Tecumseh. She’s such a gracious person, and she seemed genuinely interested in the history of the event and the Creek Indians. This afternoon after moving the chickens, I bush hogged around the lodge and on the orchard floor. Then I mowed the high points of Veg Hill and the grass around the barn, which should allow us to focus on the podcast tomorrow morning.

September 17

2015

I picked another eight pounds of muscadines this morning (Nobles), which brings the season total to 57 pounds. Then to Wetumpka to have lunch with Carol Pugh in Amanda’s place, then back to Tallassee for the funeral of Thurman Harris. An exhausting day, but a good one. This afternoon was just normal chores.

2014

Recorded the podcast first thing this morning. Then we drove to Wetumpka for an excellent seed saving workshop with Dani Carroll. Then back to the farm, where I edited the podcast and then drove to town for a session and several errands, including buying the materials for a raised bed for Linda Butler, my Harvest for Health mentee. I returned to the farm at the same time David and Jan Kirkpatrick arrived from Charlotte. After a brief visit, we headed to Montgomery to have supper with Wayne Gill. Good day, but exhausting.

September 18

2015

Good day. Tom picked me up here at 8:00 this morning, and we drove to the lake to move the pontoon boat around on the pier. Now it’s docked on the floating pier instead of the stationary one, which will allow it to float up and down as the water level rises and falls (mostly falls). This afternoon I bush hogged around the lodge and barn. Then I mowed next to the barn. Then I finished cutting up the trunk of the large oak tree that had fallen south of the barn.

2014

Up early today to take David and Jan Kirkpatrick on a tour of the garden and orchard. Then the rest of the day was all about Linda Gill’s memorial service. Lunch at their house, then visitation, then the service (glorious!!), then back to the house to hang out. Back to the farm just in time to dress down for Tecumseh rehearsal, which for the chiefs went late into the night.

2013

Today we interviewed Hayes Jackson on Gardening for Dry Places. He won’t air until October 3. This afternoon we brought down the sweet potato trellis and harvested the sweet potatoes. Easily our best harvest yet. No substitute for vole protection!

September 19

2014

After many mornings, we had one today that unfolded totally on our own schedule. First I cut four 4 x 4 posts for Linda Butler’s bed, then I drove to town to swap out a busted 2 x 12 for a good one. Then I emptied the humanure buckets. Then I cut and pre-drilled the 2 x 12 ends and sides for Linda’s bed. Then lunch. This afternoon I filed a divorce, did some other indoor work, and then I mounted staples inside the chicken coop so the feeder is now suspended from the ceiling and can no longer be tipped over. I now have the waterer on the block where the feeder had been sitting. My hope is that this will keep both the feeder and the waterer cleaner. At the end of the day I picked enough muscadines for a small batch of jam, cut them and remove the seeds by hand, and cooked them slowly to break them down. I then added just a sprinkle of sugar. I’m trying to figure out how we can make muscadine jam (with skins and pulp) without taking hours to remove the seeds. I don’t want to just give up and make jelly, which is what most people seem to be doing.

September 20

2014

Enjoyed some of that muscadine jam from yesterday. It’s tasty, and the texture is good, but I was hoping for a little more distinctly muscadine flavor. I think I cooked it too long. With the next batch, I’m going to run it through the food processor before cooking it so I won’t have to cook it so long. This morning we had Beans & Rice at the church, with not much food available. We had 62+ families come and gave away nearly everything we had. A pecan tree branch fell on the trunk of the Corolla and did a good bit of damage to it. Then a little rest before we headed to Birmingham (while listening to the Florida game) for Stephanie McKinney’s wedding. Returned about 11:15 and watched the first quarter of the game on DVR before going to sleep.

2013

Amanda and Adrian went to Wetumpka this morning for a workshop on making stepping stones. I spent the morning installing the new motor on my bike. Unfortunately, only after I got it all put together did I discover that the new motor seems dead. Bummer. Later I was able to determine that I had one of the connectors plugged in incorrectly. Once I got it plugged in correctly, I had power. But unfortunately, plugging it incorrectly may have damaged the battery. This afternoon I spread cover crop over the orchard in anticipation of drenching rains tomorrow. The mix is one that Amanda bought for me at Elmore County Exchange consisting of a 50 lb bag of mixed seeds, 4 lb of crimson clover, and 3 lb of white clover. Late this afternoon just before fish-feeding, I picked nearly the last of the red muscadines, mostly Black Beauty and Nesbitt. We still have a good many Granny Val that will need just a few more days and then will be ready to harvest.

September 21

2015

Picked another eight pounds of muscadines this morning, which brings the total to 65 pounds for the season. Later, I changed the sign at church and ran errands in town, filed a divorce and edited a QDRO, and made rolls.

2014

This morning I picked a peck or so of muscadines for jam. Then church, then to Montgomery to have lunch with Mama, then we cleaned out Mama’s pantry. Late returning to the farm.#####2013

We had a record turnout for Beans & Rice today and came awfully close to emptying the store. 64 families, the most ever. By the end of the morning we had run out of meat, beans, rice, most canned goods, all bread, and most everything else. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy. This afternoon we got that nice rain we had counted on. We finished with 1.24 inches. I was interested to see that Tallassee reported only .37 inches.

September 22

2015

Devoted the day to firewood. I filled Pallet #12 with some of the oak tree that had fallen south of the barn as well as most of the wood stacked out southwest of the lodge. Then I started on Pallet #1 before I stopped for lunch. Finished it this afternoon and moved both pallets to the orchard floor. I now have three pallets left to fill, 2, 4, and 5.

2014

Made muscadine jam this afternoon. After rinsing the muscadines and allowing them to dry, I sliced them and deseeded them. Then I ran them through the slicer of the food processor to increase the surface area. Then I cooked the mixture and added a little sugar and pectin. Then I processed them in water bath for 10 minutes.

2013

Good morning at church. Amanda and I taught Sunday School on the Lectionary. Great discussion. After church, Amanda had Daughters of the King, and I ended up lingering to change the sign, help out with a couple of tasks, and shoot the breeze. This afternoon I first built the bulletin for next Sunday, and then Amanda and I worked together to rough out tomorrow’s presentation for AUM on Vegetable Gardening.

September 23

2015

Good day. The pace of filling the firewood pallets is slowing down now, of course, because I’m no longer pulling from stock already on the ground. Now, everything I split and stack must also be felled and bucked. Today I finished up the stock from the ground and then felled one of the two doomed oaks below Veg Hill. I spent most of the afternoon bucking it up. It should make a good dent in the remaining two pallets. Pallet #2 is almost full now. Once it’s filled and in position, that will leave only pallets #4 and 5, and then we will have a full complement going into the winter.

This afternoon Amanda reminded me that I’m supposed to have worked on the TV in the lodge while they’re gone, so I’ll need to branch over and look at that tomorrow. That will push the firewood down to second priority.

2014

A good day. Amanda was gone to Wetumpka most of the morning. I removed the muscadine jam jars from the canner, let them dry, and labeled them with a sharpie. I rinsed out the canner and put it away. I stored the jam in the root cellar. I took photos of the three row cover beds and inside one of them to use in tomorrow’s presentation. I pulled out all the tools for our work this afternoon at Linda Butler’s house to build her a raised bed. This afternoon we loaded up the truck and drove to Linda’s house. After walking around with her and deciding where she wants the bed to be, we leveled up the site with shovel, hoe, and rake, then built the bed. Then we leveled up the bed. Rehearsal tonight.#####2013

Started the day putting the finishing touches on the presentation for AUM today, including adding about five new pictures. Then Amanda and I interviewed Erik Curren for Podcast #204, coming up this week. Then I ordered a new AM-FM radio.

September 24

2015

Started out the day checking on the TV in the lodge. Fortunately, the problem proved easy to fix, and I turned my attention back to muscadines. Picked another 9 pounds, bringing the total for the season to 73 pounds. Then I got cleaned up for my marathon trip, with stops at Extension in Montgomery, Farmers Feed in Wetumpka, lunch with Johan and Pam Beumer, then no ethanol gas in Claud, then Linda Butler’s house to deliver plants, and then finally home. This afternoon I began filling Pallet #4 before stopping to feed the fish.

2014

We polished up the vegetable presentation early this morning, then I had a session, then to Montgomery to present at AUM. Then we had lunch with Mama. This afternoon as we prepared to leave, we found out that Andrea Barclay was having her dress rehearsal for her play at AUM this evening. Comparing the performance schedule with the Tecumseh rehearsal schedule, we realized it was tonight or never, so we decided to stay in town for the dress. Supper at Genghis Grill (a first for me – what fun!) and several errands. The play was wonderful, but it was a long, exhausting day.#####2013

A quiet day with lots of indoor work. My main goal for the day was to finish the spiritual autobiography I will share with the EfM group on Thursday, and I was successful doing that.

September 25

2015

I worked on firewood most of the morning, filling half of Pallet #4 and then felling two trees below Veg Hill. One was a smaller white oak, and the other was a large red oak that was leaning precariously and needed to come down. I cut down the white oak because its top had been stripped out the other day when I brought down the first leaning oak. Now I have a good bit of wood on the ground, but probably not enough to fill up the rest of Pallet #4 and fill up Pallet #5. I’ll probably need to bring down one more tree before I am finished.

2014

Recorded and edited the podcast this morning, then I moved the chickens, then some cleanup around the barn. Then I bush hogged all the trails on the west side. Then a late lunch.

2013

Not much going on today. I did manage to get the new gate opener up and working, and I had an afternoon session.

September 26

2015

Continuing with the firewood, I pulled out the last pallet, #5 this morning, and found it needed some retrofitting. The verticals flopped too far out to the side, which makes the pallet harder to store under cover. So I pulled it into the barn and cut a piece of 3/8″ plywood to mount on each of the four surfaces where the vertical contacts the 4×4 base. That has the effect of pushing the top of the vertical further in. I then felled the sweetgum down below the working platform and close to the creek. I now have plenty of wood on the ground to fill the last pallet. I split enough to fill about 1/4 of the pallet before it was time to quit to watch the Alabama game.

2013

Spent the morning getting the podcast published and preparing for EfM this afternoon. Amanda and I stayed after EfM and printed the bulletin for Sunday and visited with Betty and Jimmy, who were painting the store in the Little House. Then I gathered wood for a fire in the fire pit for tomorrow night when the foyer group comes. Finished at the same time my light did. I’m having to scrounge further afield now to find wood for the fire pit. I guess that’s an indication we’re cleaning off the area around the trails, slowly but surely.

September 27

2015

After church and lunch with Mama, I returned to the farm and focused on firewood. By the end of the day, I was able to fill up Pallet #5 and get it out on the orchard floor. I moved pallets #3 and #6 into burning positions at the barn and lodge, respectively. Then I moved 7, 8, and 9 under cover. So now I have two pallets in burning position, three pallets under cover, and seven pallets on the orchard floor, two of which are seasoned wood and the other five of which are new wood.

2014

Up at 5:00 this morning to put the ribs on, then a little more sleep before the day got started. The morning was mostly about preparing for the Serendipity Class, including blowing off the pavilion and porch, moving the compost tumbler, and setting up tables and chairs with table roll. Then I pulled the ribs and was cutting them up to serve when the group arrived. We had a pleasant, unhurried visit, and they left a little before 4:00 pm. Then I took a nap and watched a little football while Amanda cleaned up in the lodge.

2013

After some paperwork first thing. I bush hogged around the lodge. the parking area, and the orchard. Then I mowed the same areas. Then I used the weedeater, and then I blew off the pavilion and porch. By then it was time for lunch. This afternoon I discovered that Amanda and I may be eligible for Obamacare. If we are, it should mean our premium will decrease dramatically. Yea! I moved the gas grill up to the lodge, and then we set up the tables and chairs and covered them in table roll. Then I bathed Oddie and groomed him. He looks much better after his haircut. The gathering tonight was just wonderful. Weather was perfect, food was superb. Gathered around the fire pit for great conversation under the stars.

September 28

2015

Today was the scheduled day to drive to Atlanta to pick up Amanda and Adrian. First, though, I blew off the pavilion floor (leaving that big pile of debris around the splitter), and did a good bit of sorting and cleanup in the apartment. I traveled to the church to change the sign and run errands, and then headed to Atlanta. As I cleared Tuskegee, Adrian texted me to let me know they are stuck there tonight, so I turned around and returned.

2014

Sunday School and church this morning, followed by a wonderfully lazy afternoon during which both of us got a good nap. Tonight we heard Jerry Cunningham and Adam Donovan sing with their gospel quartet at East Tallassee Baptist Church.

2013

Spent most of the morning cleaning up after last night, returning grill to pallet rack, putting away tables and chairs, cleaning up the lodge. Then Tom and I drove to Tuscaloosa for the Ole Miss game. Great conversation up and back, and no Alabama fan could complain about the game. RTR.

September 29

2013

Great morning at church, with some fun singing time, then worship. We had to run off early to meet Mama for lunch at tho club, then straight to Montgomery Museum for Felder Rushing. Sunday night Amanda had dinner with Felder; Mama and I hung out at her house and watched the series finale of Breaking Bad.

September 30

2015

This morning I mowed around and trimmed the raised beds on Veg Hill. Then I emptied the split firewood from Scamp’s bucket to a stack near the lodge. Then I picked up the rest of the sweetgum, split it, and added it to the same stack. That means I’m finished with the splitter for the season, so I ran the gas out of it. This afternoon after some indoor work, I cleaned off the debris where the splitting operation had been under way for the last three weeks. Felt great to have that done! Then we met with Jean Kerr about her car accident in Atlanta Saturday. When she had gone, Amanda and I fed the fish, and then I bush hogged around the orchard fenceline. By then it was time to stop for supper.

2014

Filed two divorces this morning, then moved the chickens and harvested a basket of muscadines. Then blew off the pavilion and porch for our guests, Bill and Mary Alice Thurman and Claude and Diane Small. The visit lasted until it was time to leave for Tecumseh rehearsal, which went well.

2013

Up early and out for Felder Rushing. Then back to Mama’s house to pack before we returned to the farm. This afternoon I ran errands in town before changing the sign at the church for Blessing of the Animals.

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