Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Harvest Pics

So, here are some pictures finally of my harvest. Most of this just from my house here. (Ok, the 3 cabbages were over at the FIL's, and these are the only 3 of my plants that survived.)

First we have our rhubarb. Connie, I know you don't like rhubarb. But sweety, it may be time to realize that not everybody shares that aversion to this lovely "fruit". *grin* Tori, do you know what rhubarb is? It's this thick stalky veggie where it's ONLY the stalk that you eat. But it's so tart that it's got to be combined with sugar, and preferably some other (sweeter) fruit to make it palatable. The leaves are toxic, on rhubarb. Anyway, all I took this year was the one aluminum cookie-sheet full of stalks. I wound up dehydrating it all and tossing it in a jar for rehydration and addition to fruit & dumplings later this winter. Rhubarb is esp. good combined with strawberries or other berries. Though I've also tasted some excellent Rhubarb/Cherry jam. I cannot afford the cherries to make such for myself, though.

Now we come to some pictures of my second harvest of turnips. Can you tell how absolutely huge most of these are?!?! The pictures simply do not do justice to the size of some of these lovely big turnips.

Here we go with 19 (I think that's how many!) turnips arrayed on my deck-table. A couple of those are the ones bigger than my niece's head. Due to time constraints, I did NOT keep the turnip greens. (Also some doubt in my mind that they'd be edible this late in the season. And the hubby and kiddo aren't too keen on greens, either.)

This pic of the turnip was actually taken as a comparisson to the size of MY head. But..... Well, my head just isn't very picturesque, so I narrowed it down to JUST show the turnip. *grin*

And the following picture to once again show the size of the largest of my turnips next to my hand. And yet my hand looks a lot bigger in the photo than it is in real life. And the turnip a good bit smaller than it really was.

Next, Tay wanted to pose with the picture of the cabbages I grew at the FIL's house, and our potatoes. Mind you, these are the smallest of the cabbages grown.

And the potatoes seen here, that is simply the number of potatoes garnished from my two little potato plants out back of my house. Ironically, my two potato plants gave MORE potatoes per plant than the multitude of potato plants at the FIL's place. We suspect the ground over there was too compacted, while the soil in the "chicken wire barrels" was allowed to stay very loose and therefore grew more potatoes per plant.

Wow, I just counted and I didn't realize that I actually got 16 potatoes out of those two plants. I thought it was closer to a dozen.

Anyway, obviously a couple of the potatoes are only just as big as the last joint on my thumb. A couple of the others are as big as my fist, with most of them ranging about the approximate size of a baseball. I'm hoping to save the smallest 3 for seed potatoes for next year. I'm just not sure what are the most prime conditions for saving potatoes. Would it be advisible to bury them in one of the buckets containing the soil saved from this year?


RE: homeschooling, for Wendy. We signed on with a "School District" program. Here in Alaska, with so many native villages and even more-so, folks living in the "bush" in cabins as individual families, it's not UNcommon for folks to homeschool. So, we've got a variety of progams to pick from, covering various "school districts". Even those of us NOT living in those ACTUAL school zones or districts can participate through the home-schooling programs.

We signed on with the Yukon-Koyukuk School District Raven program. This gives us the funding to buy school materials for the year, and we get the supervision of somebody more experienced than we, and get a ready-made "home-school" experience. The school district allows the parent to pick they're child's curriculum, or piece together the child's curriculum from a variety of sources. The requirements for us? We must pass along quarterly reports and examples of Tay's work. In April, Tay must take the standardized test along with all the other kids who attend public school.

As for curriculum, we chose the Calvert curriculum, out of Baltimore, Maryland, for most of her school materials. But, we picked Saxon for math, as it's a curriculum both the hubby and I have experience with through our own schooling years ago. Tay's finding Saxon math much easier to understand than the "Everyday Math" she used last year. (Actually, I think "everyday math" may be part of the Calvert Curriculum, if you choose they're math program along with the rest of their curriculum.)

Our history and geography this year, for example, is from the text-book "Build Our Nation" and covers the US and American (North and Central, maybe even South American) history and geography from the last ice-age throug the current day.

Our science is also using an actual Text-book, focussing at the moment on plant cell-structure and biology.

For reading, we're assigned "Shiloh" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (mis-organized both last names in the last post). These are books and subjects that the student will be quizzed on in the Standardized testing at the end of the school year. I'm trying to cover and discuss more than just the basics covered in the text-books, as I'd like Tay to actually have some GRASP on why this is important to her life, but she's not making it easy.

This morning, in reading about the Native American tribes of the North West, South west, and East Coast, we came across mention of how the Native Americans of the Northwest had such a vast abundance of natural resources that they had no need for farming (sea-life and land animals for hunting and fishing, wild fruits & veggies for gathering), and with SUCH abundance they developed the tradition of Potlatches. I told her that Potlatching is a common practice in our very community even today. When a native Elder dies (this being the time this tradition REALLY comes to the forefront for those of us who are Non-native to see), their family has a Potlatch to distribute their belongings among their friends, family, and even business-friends. There was one not too long ago, here in Fairbanks, that was covered in our newspaper, because the woman was an active part of the Fairbanks area Native scene. And, Thanks to her own experiences with Breast Cancer (what finally killed her), she was also well known around Fairbanks for her work in Breast Cancer awareness and fundraising.

Anyway, so I'm trying to tie in what she's reading and learning about with the curriculum, with how it is involved in our lives even here in Fairbanks. Discussing land-forms in Geography, the book was mostly focussing on landforms in the lower 48. I was able to talk her through some land-forms that are local to us: Tanana, Chena, Salcha and Yukon rivers; Denali/Mt. McKinley; Prince William Sound. This gives her some idea of the concept using examples she understands.

Anyway, so that's what we're doing, in a nut-shell. Gotta head off to work, though.

Have a Blessed Day!


Slip said...

If you want those turnips to last you have to coat them in wax.

Anonymous said...

My head wasn't that picturesque- GREAT line!! :) I think comparing them to your fist is better too. :) Great harvest - those little potatoes are tasty I bet!
God bless you! :)

Tori_z said...

Oh yeah, I know what Rhubarb is! I love the stuff! My favourite desert is Rhubarb crumble and custard. Though, I have no problem with eating the rhubarb crumble without the custard. LOL!