Fall Projects
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
 Fall is a busy time of the year. The leaves are beautiful when they display their colors but piled up on my decks, sidewalks and doorways not so much. Daily cleaning with the blower and raking and collecting the leaves to feed the many compost piles is quite a chore. Picking up hickory nuts to keep them from being slung through a window by the mower is another chore. I did manage to get Gypsy my little Scottie bathed and clipped and performed a bumble foot surgery on one of the duck hens. Patient and doctor are recovering nicely. Geez the hats I wear sometimes are just mind blowing ..read more
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Canning Butternut Soup
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
 It has continued to be a busy time here in the holler. First frost has come and gone a week early no less and we have had 3 consecutive night of freezing temperatures. We did finally get a small amount of rain but it continues to be really dry for this time of year. Before frost we scurried around picking everything we could. One of those vegetables still out there was Butternut quash. They were growing on vines in various parts of the garden up fences and trellises and left to ripen and the skins harden in the cool weather of fall. Once that frost danger approaches they must be picked ..read more
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Dehydrating Figs
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
I have 6 fig trees now here in the holler. Three are the variety Chicago Hardy and the other three are an unknown variety gifted from a friend. Some winters they freeze all the way to the ground and some years they don't but they always come back and every year they are bearing more and more figs. The picture above is of an ordinary size fig on the bottom and the huge size figs I get off the unknown variety on top. It does not turn dark purple like the Chicago Hardy nor do I think it tastes as sweet but the greenish unknown variety can get HUGE! They usually start getting ripe by August and ..read more
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Cocozelle Zucchini
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
Well we finally pulled up the zucchini before frost. There is too much of a good thing! My favorite variety of zucchini to grow is an old Italian heirloom called Cocozelle. This Italian heirloom was called Cocozella di Napoli in the 1800s. It is a smaller bush but bears prolifically with a sweet and nutty tasting fruit. Flavor wise this is my favorite. It is open pollinated and I save seeds. Zucchini for me is a pretty no brainer crop and I usually always end up with way more than I need but the chickens love them so they just become food supplements for the chickens and rabbits.  ..read more
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Dehydrating Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
  Other than just consuming my sweet potatoes baked this is one of our favorite ways to consume sweet potatoes other than maybe pie. I simply put the sweet potatoes in the oven and bake them. Then peel the potatoes and mash just like making mashed potatoes. I add apple juice if they need a little liquid and I add to also add cinnamon and maple syrup and then run my immersion blender through them. You do what your family likes to taste. Then I spread the mashed potatoes out on parchment paper on my dehydrator trays and dry like fruit leather only drier. At the end I take it off the parch ..read more
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Heavy Hitter Okra
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
  Another overachiever in my garden this year has been the okra. I tried a new variety to me called Heavy Hitter from seeds I purchased 2 years ago from the farmer in Alabama that developed this okra. In the past I have traditionally grown Cajun Cowhorn variety and also Clemson Spineless.  Cajun Cowhorn is an heirloom variety that my parents grew in Louisiana when I was a child and the great thing about that variety is that the pods stay soft and edible even when very large. Heavy Hitter is a variety developed by a farmer over many years by selecting the best producing Clemson Spin ..read more
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Plentiful Harvests for Autumn
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
The days of sleeping at night with an open window under a snuggly quilt have returned. The leaves have started to trickle down again from the trees. I picked the first 6 of my butternut squash yesterday. I love the "pumpkin" pies I make from these. In the past I have chunked these up and canned them in jars but honestly I don't like them that way. The meat of the squash tends to be watery preserved that way. My preference actually is to mash the squash up and freeze it. I may play around with dehydrating it into a powder this year and then rehydrating for pies. We shall see since I have pl ..read more
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Gooseberry Jam
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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1y ago
  Harvests are starting to slow down some. Yesterday I picked the first of the winter squash which is a butternut variety. I don't even know what variety as I first saved the seeds from a squash purchased commercially long ago. For the moment I am starting to process down some of the fruit that I tucked in the freezer this spring until I had time to process at a later date. I grow so much that I have to do this often times to get around to everything.  SO I make jellies and preserves in the fall to cleanout the freezer for fall meats.  First thing I did was take out my frozen ..read more
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Sweet Potato Time
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
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2y ago
  Sweet potatoes are a family favorite in our house. I have such fond memories of my father when I was a girl and walking into his workshop and he would put sweet potatoes into the oven that he kept his welding rods in to slowly bake. The smell of baking sweet potatoes even today always make me think of him. He told stories about when he was a young boy taking baked sweet potatoes to school in his lunchbox during the Great Depression. I guess that crop got many southerners through the hard times.  For me my sweet potato crop started in January with 2 left over sweet potatoes fr ..read more
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Tomato Products
Hickery Holler Farm Blog
by
2y ago
As  the rest of the country anticipated a shortage of tomato products in our future according to the recent  exploits of the media here I sit. Hip deep I tell you in nothing other than tomatoes. For the second year in a row a bumper crop of good old homegrown tomatoes. These days my kitchen table, kitchen counters and any other flat surface I can find is covered in seeds drying, vegetables ripening, vegetables waiting to be washed, blanched, chopped, dehydrated, frozen or canned. There is no tomato product shortage in The Holler.    You can find tomatoes as they ripen c ..read more
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