Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cool at Last

Although the leaves haven't yet turned, we are experiencing lower humidity and cool mornings.  Yesterday I hauled three loads of manure and dumped it in low spots on the farm.  I've raked stalls and will try to keep up as long as I can.

Every two days, I pick figs for the roosters and tomatoes and peppers for us.  The roosters are getting fat, but there are fewer and fewer figs ripening because of the moderating temperatures. 

Huge baskets of tomatoes fill my kitchen counters.  When it is no longer possible to ignore the tomatoes, I roast them in the oven along with peppers.  When cooled, I skin them and put them through the food mill to make sauce.  Sometimes I can the sauce and sometimes I make chili con carne.  Freezer space is at a premium, but we will have some nice meals when the snow is on the ground.  All the pear pies I froze are going to be a special treat.

Our hunting cabin is nearly completely remodeled.  The leftover bamboo flooring from our house just covered the old floor, with just four planks unused.  I managed to paint all the walls and am working on repairing and painting odds and ends of furniture.  There were some nice rugs and a storage unit which I bought at yard sales, and it's really shaping up nicely.

We will finish up the rainwater collection system, as there is no source of water or electricity.  A gas generator allows me to run the vacuum cleaner occasionally and I've acquired all sorts of battery and solar-powered lighting along with oil lamps for lighting.  It is a fun project and enjoyable now that I can breathe and move without so much effort.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Here Comes the Rain Again: September First

"Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion..." The Eurythmics

August came and went, alternately rainy, steamy, then briefly pleasant with lower humidity.  It was the most comfortable of all the uncomfortable Virginia Augusts of the past fifteen years.

The pond and hayfields are back to normal for the most part.  Gangs of wild turkeys gather each morning and early evening to feed on something in the field.  They've been strolling around the farm every day since the big rains began in June and July.  I know some hunters who are waiting eagerly for the first day of turkey season.

This weird summer I saw twin fawns still wobbly on their feet and too newborn to have developed a fear of humans.  (That is very newborn for deer.)

On each of the low humidity days -- there were a few -- I frantically raked the goat barn, knowing that this would be unbearable in the moist heat.  I didn't quite clean it out, but I'm making headway.  We are promised better temperatures in a few days and I vow to return to the task in earnest.  The flooding has left the barn wetter than it has ever been and I'll have to sprinkle lime to dry out parts of the floor.

Our Spring chicks have developed into hens and roosters.  Small eggs, many green and blue, are appearing in the nest boxes.  The adolescent males are obnoxious and reduce egg laying.  They create scenes of mayhem, chasing old hens and young hens.  They're being relegated to a couple of coops to cool their heels.  Unfortunately, they will soon be soup.