Saturday, November 29, 2008

Harvest Wrap-Up

Thought it would be good during Thanksgiving break to take a breather before the Holiday Rush begins in earnest. Truthfully, though, the year has been pretty great. Ed and I are looking forward to a Thanksgiving potluck in Pittsford with fellow members of The UU Church of Rutland.

Well, of the many things we learned this year one thing was clear: We can grow squash! Our yields for butternut squash and pumpkins were particularly high. The pumpkin harvest alone was approximately 75 pumpkins, with the largest one weighing in at 58 lbs! One of the best things about both are how easily we are able to store them over the winter.

The other great thing is how Ed has taken the lead in discovering great soups to make with pumpkins. With the invaluable help of Mollie Katzen's wonderful vegetarian cookbooks, we've made some super discoveries.

We have also gotten some good things accomplished before the winter begins in earnest. I got a handful of bulbs in the ground before the ground froze. I am wondering if cut flowers might be a potential business along with our other market farm endeavors. We'll see. I found out about a great garden supply source that sells heirloom varieties of bulbs; they also put together packages suited for different growing regions of the U.S. I decided to start with their selection for Zone 4b and see how well the bulbs survive the winter. Here's hoping!

Another great opportunity that's come my way this year is working with local potter Carl Buffum at Wallingford Pottery right in town. I've taken on some of the grunt work such as mixing clay and stacking the kiln for firings in exchange for some studio time on the wheel.

I started out working with clay left over from my classes at Frog Hollow, however, all of the glazes I've used so far are Carl's. It was fun experimenting with these. Since I have a tendency toward shiny, glassy glazes, I don't usually spend a lot of time on manipulating the surfaces of my pieces. However, Carl uses one basic white matte glaze that really emphasizes the the texture of the clay body. In the pictures here, it is possible to see how much the glaze moves around to cover the surface of the pieces. Although Carl is getting ready to close down the studio for the year (the larger workplace is in a screened-in porch), I am already looking forward to doing more next spring.

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