Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bye, September

'Just a note before September is all gone.

From the window near my desk, I can see that there is just the slight beginning of Fall color in the tree line. It is 48 degrees this morning, a good thing in my opinion. It will be up into the seventies by this afternoon.

We have hay to finish up. A lot of square bales are drying in a single layer in the big barn. It got in before the (short) rain storm we had on Thursday. There is still some to rake in the big field, so we'll try out our new, old, basket hay rake and then make more square bales for the goats.

There are a couple more small fields which can be cut. This year, there will be a hay shortage all over this drought-striken region, and we need to make all the hay we can.

I'm making progress getting through the hundred pounds of wine grapes I bought last Saturday. Each day, I make at least two gallons of juice to ferment. There's a lot of bubbling going on down in the cellar. I expect to have four large glass carboys going for several more months and hope to bottle enough wine to last a year. There will be blackberry, blackberry-watermelon, and grape wines.

The watermelon vines are drying up, leaving walking space in between plants. I'll be picking up all the watermelons left in the plastic garden. The pumpkin vines are still growing and taking over available space. I've picked lovely blue hubbard squashes, small dark green Japanese squash, cheese pumpkins, and pink banana squash. There are some interesting large bumpy acorn-shaped squashes that have not yet reached ripeness and lots of pumpkins. I still picked one zuchinni yesterday and a number of peppers. The cucumbers are still producing.

This morning, early, I put a couple of winter jackets into the washer. I'm feeling like washing all the winter gear and having it ready for the advent of cold weather, even though I'm hoping it won't come until late November. That's probably wishful thinking.

In the meantime, I think I'll enjoy Autumn.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We've Turned the Corner

We seem to have turned the corner into near-Fall. It rained! yesterday and weeds can be pulled. (I'll be out there shortly this morning.) It is cooler and less humid. I can breathe. So can the cows and goats.

I've been selling watermelons and squash in large quantities and the cucumbers keep coming. The pumpkins have escaped the garden!! Help! They are developing everywhere and even growing up one of the farm buildings. The plastic garden is officially a success. I've even managed to find some ripe grape tomatoes, which I ate right in the garden.

On the pond front: Bob Duck, the last Pekin left after the duck massacre engineered by the foxes last year, has taken charge of the ten buff ducks on the near pond. He herds them in and out of their shelter and is showing them the ropes. I'm sure he's glad to be in the company of other ducks and not at the total mercy of the geese. They are sometimes mean to him.

The young geese and ducks have adjusted to life on the far pond and follow the lead of the older geese.

Chickens and guineas are enjoying a waterfowl-free house and yard. I've cleaned out all the coops and will tackle the main area and the goose houses soon.

Some more hay was cut and baled, but there is half a hayfield left to do when it dries out.

Goat maintenance has started since it cooled down. I'm able to do hoof trimming and worming and booster shots. We've begun grain supplements as much of the herd will be pregnant at this time. The cows are cycling through cross-fenced pastures.

It's a busy time, but at least the heat is at bay and we can proceed to do what needs to be done.