Man, has it really been over a month since my last post? Shame on me. That’s a first in over three years of writing this blog. August and September are just crazy, right?! So…what’s been happening. Well, let’s see.

We butchered 16 rabbits. A new post on what I’ve learned about rabbits since I started out a few years ago coming soon.

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Post “one bad day”. I’m giving pelt tanning a try this fall.

And then, we, drum roll, went on vacation for 5 days. I learned last year when we didn’t take a day off for the whole 6 months of Farmers Markets that all work and no play turns me a very crazy person by about September. So this year, I purposely planned to skip a few markets. It took three helpful friends and neighbors to come by and make sure the garden was OK and the animals hadn’t managed to kill themselves in our absence, but we did it. We actually LEFT TOWN. We headed into eastern Oregon to fossil hunt, then over to Portland, then down the Oregon coast as far as Newport. It was FABULOUS and totally recharged my batteries for the rest of the season.

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ROAD TRIP!!!

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Camping in the Cascades. Look at all that green. I hear it rains there. Grin.

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Oregon coast. It has literally been years since I’ve put my feet in the ocean. WAY too long. There are harbor seals out there bobbing up and down in the water just in front of those rocks. I think they were waiting for us to get off their beach.

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Rogue Brewery in Newport. If you ever get a chance, go. Great beers, casual restaurant right on the water with wonderful seafood, and a spruce tip gin that is about the best hard liquor I’ve ever tasted. A gin you can sip. Who knew? In this picture they were roasting pumpkins for their seasonal pumpkin ale.

While we were gone, these got ripe. I turned some into a pear liqueur and the rest into pear butter. A few went to the chickens and sheep and the goat (nothing funnier than a goat with a whole pear in her mouth – got to tell you). They were a bit buggy, since we didn’t spray them. The tree did nicely after I cut off the top 5 feet or so, in order to get it to grow more out and less up.

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We think this is a red Bartlet. No way to know for sure. SO pretty.

I picked up a couple of wholesale soap accounts. Still a steep learning curve on this for me, but very excited to expand my business, not to mention have a potential income stream during the winter.

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We soapers like to call this “wet soap porn”.

While I was spending so much time thinking about soap, I also decided I had better get around to updating my online toiletry sales page, which I don’t have time to do during the summer, when my inventory is changing constantly. It’s mostly updated, and I’m getting better at taking pictures.

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Sweet Orange Chili Peppa.

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Pear Bomb. And now you know where the pear came from. I LOVE this picture. I think its my favorite product picture I’ve ever taken. I just love the colors.

Somewhere in there the greenhouse went from looking like this:

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This really isn’t that many weeds. It’s just 10 or 12 REALLY big ones. Lambs quarter, mostly.

to this:

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Much better. And now I have a place to put the fig trees and the lemon tree, and the corn I’m drying…

And while doing that I find this:

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Buried in the weeds. No water for months! The seed must have fallen off and germinated when I was seeding flats this spring. Sweet, bell peppers into November! I’ll take it. It’s much happier now that its getting more sun.

My fig trees, that were planted in pots because they are going to go in the back yard when we redo the decks, have figs on them. Squeeeee. I love figs. Which took me until my 30’s to realize. I grew up with a tree as a kid, and never once ate one. I was an idiot. A food stubborn silly girl who missed out on SO many things because they looked weird. (Be sure to imagine the word weird being said in a whiny teenaged voice).
DSC08035watermark And this is starting to happen. Which is very exciting, as we had no crop last year. Rossi the dog is especially excited, as he loves walnuts and now they are on the ground for him to find and eat. Sigh. Hope we both don’t regret that later.

DSC08117watermarkOh, and I’ve also canned about 40 pints of salsa, quarts of tomatoes, quarts of peaches, pressure canned quarts of tomato soup (I’m SO sick of tomatoes), and quarts of apple cider.

All in all, its been a really good 5 weeks of fun and productivity and weather that wasn’t in the high 90’s.

Hooray for fall!

We’re in the process of making a batch of hard apple cider. We shot a video of our first crush of crab apples. Here’s a link to the video. Yes, you too can make your own cider press out of an old garbage disposal. Grin.

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2014, where we promise to write more often, and do a garden wrap up post or two in the next few weeks. What worked, what didn’t, and what we’ll be doing differently next year.

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