Lots of Plums, Electrical, Feathers - Friday

in GEMS2 months ago

Bright and early I was in town picking up grain and dropping off the co-op orders. It was a bit of a pain in the ass sine I had to go almost to downtown and then all the way out to the valley. At least most of the traffic was daily commuters so they were moving at a better speed. I got home only about 10 minutes later than normal and dumped the grain in the sheep pen.

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Flour has seemed to be in short supply with many places but luckily the co-op has a grain grower member who grows the barley for the malting operation and wheat for flour. I picked up a 25 pound bag of the hard red bread flour. It looks amazing and should be a super good flour. I look forward to making bread with it.

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The plums are mostly all ripe and ready so I headed out to pick the various spots. The first was the little tree out by the highway. It is near enough to the creek to be getting water so the plums are generally plump. The only thing is the tree is next to the highway so we make sure to bag them separately so we can be sure to wash them well to remove the highway grime. Not a ton but still a few pounds.

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To anyone who wants to make their own fruit picker the easiest way I found was to use a 2 liter bottle. The Sprite style has a stronger base for the teeth. Cut the plastic into teeth and an opening for the fruit to fall into. I have it screwed into an extendable pole from a water brush which allows me to reach fruit up to 12 feet up.

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The next trees were the ones by the creek. The plums aren't quite as ripe and I didn't notice till well into picking them. I got everything I could reach without getting a ladder which left a couple pounds up really high.

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It's hard to see the trees but they are there.

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The main plum trees are by the house and this year were LOADED with plums. All the rain we got in the Spring helped these produce so well. Bunches of plums were all over the trees.

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The stand of plum trees have about 5 good sized and a bunch of younger all massed into the circle.

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I have no clue what these things are but there were a bunch of the molts stuck to a bunch of the plums.

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The spiders love the plum trees as the old cut branch stumps hollow out and allow them a home.

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A pretty solid load of plums. The tub on the right weighs 16 pounds. In all I got over 25 pounds of plums picked.

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Back in the shed I spent a couple of hours sweating buckets installing the electrical. I ran the wire for all the outlets, wired them in, and installed everything. I have a pair of junction boxes in to make the outlet boxes cleaner.

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For now I am leaving the incoming power hooked up to the extension cord but everything inside is done. I went and tested every outlet to make sure they work.

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On the center beam I installed an outlet that faces down. This makes 7 dual gang outlets in the shed. More than enough for anything we would want.

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As we all sat on the porch eating dinner I noticed the red of the sun as it went down with the smoke filled basin between us. We got done eating and hiked up the hillside. As I hit the top of the hill I found this nice wing tip feather with a huge quick.

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Inside the sheep pen sat this white feather. The eagles leave many feathers in the late summer and I have found numerous of them over the years.

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We headed back down the hill to the house before it got dark.

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For more information about our farm:
Fleming Family Farm
FLEMING FAMILY FARM, LLC
Sustainable & Organic Methods | Heirloom Produce
All images are original works of Fleming Family Farm unless otherwise notated and credited.

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What's your plan for the plums? Jams & jellies? Dehydration?

I like the plum harvesting tool idea. Nice recycling!

We aren't sure yet. We have pitted then frozen them prior years but I just cooked most of those ones down and canned them in quarts. We have a few pounds of them dried from last year but didn't use them over the winter much.

The tool was born out of need and not wanting to spend $40+ on a picker. It is no where near as durable as the commercial ones but I can always just cut another one out to use when this one gets too beat up.

We used to find turkey feathers in the pastures. We'd bring them home for he house cat. She used to love playing with them, pre-arthritis.

I regularly find turkey feathers from the herds that come through and under the eagle's nest from their meals. When I have raised turkeys before we have had wild ones come hang out with ours for a while.