Archive Page 2

Second snow

We had our second snow the week of Halloween – just about two feet.  After 3 or 4 days it was almost gone, sunny and 65. That’s what I’m talking about!

JP got to use his new toy! Very handy for this much snow.

The chicken coop got quite a bit!

Then Dave flew out to visit.

We went up to Nederland reservoir. Very windy at 8,000+ feet up.

Katie made us sushi!

And of course this sushi had to be dressed with...

Wasabi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 feet of snow was a bit much for our fence hoops (now reinforced), but everything came through it perfectly fine!

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This one’s for Noah!

Well, my “Brew-boy” career has risen to new heights.  Hunter has the gear (and the skill) and I have fun (and good looks).  We’ll have beer ready by the new year, and cider in the spring.

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The beer and cider (minus 15 gallons in the next room) hanging out on the garage floor. We made around 30 gallons of cider a week ago and 10 of beer yesterday.

Of course, all these home made beverages took a lot of sacrifice…

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Hunter, very high up in a tree over an irrigation ditch. He cut himself up a bit, and hardly any apples to show for it! It was a test of manhood.

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Clinging on for life while I called the fire department... ha!

That last caption is unfortunately fictional.

And now Noah, for the cool tech part.  Below is my sacrifice.

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I had to hold this copper box. It was heavy! It cooled the hot hot beer with cool water running by it from the hose. It works remarkably well.

And I should end with this nice picture of Long’s Peak (I think) from the farm at Lyons.

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The Front Range and the peaks have all been snow-capped and gorgeous for a few weeks.

Friends came over and we put them to work: GARLIC!

Our friends Erin and Ben were staying with us last weekend and we put them to work in the garden.  We planted my beloved and well-prepped garlic bed with over 300 heads of garlic, plus some walking onions. I’m excited for July. They’re just going to be hiding out in the ground until then.

Labeling is always an important, but hard to get to part of farming. What the heck is this plant!?

Labeling is always an important, but hard to get to part of farming. What the heck is this plant!?

And bed prepping... I've only spent about a jillion hours on this soil - I needed Ben's help to do it one more time!!!

And bed prepping... I've only spent about a jillion hours on this soil - I needed Ben's help to do it one more time!!!

We used JP's handy screen filter to get all the weeds that have been sliding through the loose soil since I first prepped it more than a month ago. It might be overkill, but I want this to WORK!

We used JP's handy screen filter to get all the weeds that have been sliding through the loose soil since I first prepped it more than a month ago. It might be overkill, but I want this to WORK!

And here’s the happy couple!

TOUGH Farm-stock Coloradans.

TOUGH Farm-stock Coloradans.

I forgot to take a picture of the signs in the ground. But our models do a good job of displaying the craftsmanship.

I forgot to take a picture of the signs in the ground. But our models do a good job of displaying the craftsmanship.

Little woman, big compost.

Little woman, big compost.

Well, we’ve been doing a lot!

We’ve had a few 6 eggs days. It only took 12 chickens to do it! The eggs are always beautiful (sometimes with little bits of poop on them). I’ve been bringing back lots of scraps and veggie guts from the food bank and hot meals site at work – they just love em’!

The speckled ones are really interesting.

The speckled ones are really interesting.

As you know,  having a strong winter garden has been important to us for a few years.  This year, we have a pretty good one. Next year it will be even better, and so forth until forever.  We used fencing wire to make make-shift open and close domes over 6-8 beds and covered them with Remay (cover cloth).  We did this last year in the big snow in Tacoma and it worked wonders. And when we had our first snow here on October 9th (can you believe it!) it worked again! Katie will have to tell you what all crops we have – that’s her job – but we have a ton and its all doing great!

We have about a million purple sprouting broccoli hanging out for a bumper spring crop.

We have about a million purple sprouting broccoli hanging out for a bumper spring crop.

Abundant standard salad greens pictured here.  There are also all sorts of winter varieties not pictured that are just getting going.

Abundant standard salad greens pictured here. There are also all sorts of winter varieties not pictured that are just getting going.

And then came the first snow!

Warm little snow caves, keeping our veggies happy.

Warm little snow caves, keeping our veggies happy inside.

You can see the folded back white crop cover with a couple inches of snow on it and the lettuces snugly hanging out underneath.

You can see the folded back white crop cover with a couple inches of snow on it and the lettuces snugly hanging out underneath.

Well, for my birthday I received a wonderful scuffle hoe from Cynthia and JP. What most vegetable farmer’s I’ve met or worked for have.

Here my scuffle hoe and I are pictured weeding the cover crop buckwheat (which has since died in the frist frost).  Once it died I planted vetch and some other basic cover crops where I had hoed. It is now taking off quite well.

Here my scuffle hoe and I are pictured weeding the cover crop buckwheat (which has since died in the frist frost). Once it died I planted vetch and some other basic cover crops where I had hoed. It is now taking off quite well.

And we’ve done some cider making too with our friend Hunter. One jug we allowed to ferment with its own wild yeasts and reaped a nice head of blue mold.

Bad picture, but believe me, it was blue. We filtered it out, but now we're skeptical as to whether it will be drinkable.

Bad picture, but believe me, it was blue. We filtered it out, but now we're skeptical as to whether it will be drinkable.

There were also some successes!

Hunter and I combining the batches after the initial fermentation. (More cider pictures to come.  We picked apples last weekend and made about 27 gallons of cider! Probably the last batch of the year.)

Hunter and I combining the batches after the initial fermentation. (More cider pictures to come. We picked apples last weekend and made about 27 gallons of cider! Probably the last batch of the year.)

Hunter’s shake method has really come through for us lately:

  1. take a large man
  2. place him in a tree full of apples
  3. put a tarp under the tree
  4. have the man shake the bejeezus out of it
  5. catch more than half of the cider-ready apples in the tarp
  6. make cider all day long

More to come.

Dave Rawlings Machine

David Rawlings and Gillian Welch are putting out an album! November 17th will be the best day of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    It’s coming out as Dave Rawlings Machine “Friend of a Friend”. I am PUMPED!

You might not actually know how important this is!

You might not actually know how important this is!

Fishing for… just a hike

Well, last weekend I went fishing with JP, Katie’s dad, and didn’t catch anything but a 9 mile hike. It was wonderful.  And he caught some nice ones, of course.

This is where we went.

There are several lakes up in these mountains, all very beautiful.

There are several lakes up in these mountains, all very beautiful.

Here’s the one where JP caught two fly fishing.

It took forever to hike above this lake.

It took forever to hike above this lake.

JP hardly dropped the line down in this creek pool before a fish jumped on his line.

JP hardly dropped the line down in this creek pool before a fish jumped on his line.

I’m Andrew McNeely, and I approve this message.

If I photoshopped the lake to look like blood, it would seem that I was bleeding to death. (*Nominee for best caption yet.)

If I photoshopped the lake to look like blood, it would seem that I was bleeding to death. (*Nominee for best caption yet.)

Apple Sauce

You’ve got to wonder what’s going on here.

Cynthia found this protective gear for our apple-saucing photo shoot.

Cynthia found this protective gear for our apple-saucing photo shoot.

The Squeze-O-Strain-O works great – very easy!

Some sauce and some of Hunter's "Crabby" cider from last year -  a great combo!

Some sauce and some of Hunter and Sarah's "Crabby" cider from last year - a great combo!

We made a small batch last week (approximately 7 quarts and 7 pints) and a large one (I’m guessing 20 quarts plus…) this week.  We have yet to can this batch, but its hanging out in the back fridge – it takes a lot of work (especially from Cynthia, the Sauce Master) to do it all at once.

This picture of me and the apples really says it all:

They've been dunked in the water, and I need a dunk.

They've been dunked in the water, and I need a dunk.