Pin It Crippen Creek Chronicles: September 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Autumn Leaves

"The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold."
-Johnny Mercer

The first day of Autumn made a grand appearance yesterday. The sugar maples are turning.

The orb weavers have set up shop on the garden fence.

The pumpkins are ripening.

I think Squashzilla the 37 lb. Hubbard Squash is ready.

Early autumn is such a schizophrenic time of year. On a beautiful day like this, all the outdoor chores of mowing, woodstacking and weeding call but all of that great harvest that you worked so hard for all summer has to be put up. No wonder farmers raised such large families. Extra harvest hands are always welcome. We will make it worth your while.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Garden Update

Country living has presented us with many challenges and high on that list of challenges is gardening. When we are perusing the seed catalogs in January, it's easy to get carried away with visions of a garden that could feed a small town and end up ordering more seeds than we could ever hope to plant. As planting time draws near it takes a great deal of resolve to resist planting too early when it feels like Spring is here. Last year we boasted of growing prize winning eggplant, a feat that would be all but impossible without our hoophouse. Oh that wonderful hoophouse that was going to give us a head start on this year's garden, was destroyed by a January snowstorm. So we rebuilt it in early Spring only to have a sudden windstorm destroy it 3 days later. We are hoping that the 3rd time is a charm. We are pleased to report that the hoophouse is holding up and this year's garden looks like our best yet in spite of getting off to a late start. We have harvested a few tomatoes, over 100 pounds of potatoes and several batches of the best looking basil we have ever grown. The eggplant is prolific. The strawberries were sweet and plentiful. The garlic was dismal and we have not figured out why. The tomatillos were a bust. Who knew that you needed two plants? The broccoli raab came and went too quickly but escarole is coming on strong. This is definitely our best looking garden to date and Kitty has done it almost single-handedly.

Garden 2009


Escarole (Italian soul food)

Green Beans ready for the freezer



Pesto Genovese

Pesto Genovese

And how did your garden fare this year? Do you have any good tips on growing garlic?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

"Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer,
those days of soda and pretzels and beer."
-Nat King Cole

We have certainly had our share of hazy and crazy days this summer, but not many lazy ones. Summer is always a busy time with gardening, raising chickens and pigs and hosting guests. This summer we have been especially priveleged to host a number of Elderhostel guests. Elderhostel is a non-profit organization that offers adventure and educational programs world wide. It's also proof positive that there is life after 50. We found our guests to be intelligent, fit and enthusiastic about life and learning new things. One of those programs, Kayaking the Lower Columbia, takes place right here in Skamokawa. After a hearty breakfast every morning, the guests head out for an adventure with some of the best kayak guides in the country from Columbia River Kayaking.

At the end of the day, the guests return to the inn for dinner followed up by an evening program that might include a demonstration of primitive tools used by the Chinook Indians or a fantastic musical program related to the Lewis and Clark adventure.
As long as we are talking about kayaking we need to take a moment for shameless self-promotion and direct you to a wonderful article in, believe it or not, Forbes Magazine on The Forgotten Columbia River.

Here's a few photos of the many wonderful guests and evening programs we have enjoyed this summer.

Music from the Lewis and Clark Trail

Primitive tools of the Chinook

Have you ever been on and Elderhostel program? What did you think of it? There's still room for the September program.