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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Effects of the Wind


It's been a strange couple of days with fires everywhere and all the wind and heat complicating the scenario. This fire seems to be a bit closer than the last one, just one month ago, but has been traveling in the other direction. My heart goes out to the people that had to evacuate and those who lost their homes. The winds have died down now, so it looks like the fire will be contained in the next couple of days. I hope it's all out before the wind changes direction - I don't mind not having to breathe all that smoke.

One thing that's been helpful about these winds is that it knocked the olives out of the tree that were too high to reach to pick. I just happened to be out in the garden (mulching again - or is that still) and looked down to see a couple of ripe olives on the ground, so I picked them up. Then I saw another and another and before long my pockets were full. (It helps to wear cargo pants in the garden.) I've had to move the whole curing process to a much larger jar.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Olives again



I was going to just ignore the olives this year, but with the winds the olives from my neighbors tree rain down onto the roof and deck, sounding like very fat raindrops. I decided to check my olive trees to see if they had olives and ended up picking about a pound. I think I'm going to try a simple salt cure this time - it seems easier, just layering the olives with the salt and shaking them every day for three weeks or so.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Rain Catcher

We seem to get all of our rain in the fall and winter and then almost none the rest of the year. This summer I ordered 10 used barrels - previously used for shipping greek olives - I'm guessing - from the faint tangy scent leftover. These barrels have been refitted with overflow spouts, a hose bib, and a mesh screen on the lid to filter leaves and debris and keep critters and mosquitos out. I had the barrels hooked up to a downspout on Friday with an extra pipe to travel along the outside wall and turn a corner to go through the trellis under the back deck where the barrels are. From there a flexible drain pipe feeds the water into the barrels. And it rained, enough that the first barrel is already full! I'm looking forward to being able to use this water next summer on my vegetables. And if it keeps on raining I'll order more barrels until I run out of room.