Sunday, September 27, 2015

Everyone loves Fall....right?

I mean.....what is there NOT to love....right? Temperatures in the low 80's to upper 70's.....lows in the 50's. Mornings are brisk enough to put on a jacket while doing the morning chores then by lunch time you are pealing off that jacket and again, by evening chores...grabbing that jacket again. A light morning rain leaves the air smelling of fall leaves...a smell that awakens childhood memories of playing in leaf piles...Halloween...and then, the coming of Christmas. Almost everyone I know.... loves Fall. Then...... reality hits...WHAM! WINTER IS COMING! A slight wave of panic washes over me for a brief moment. My "grown up " mind kicks in..... Do we have enough fire wood for winter? Is there enough Hay put up to keep every critter fed? How much straw will I need to keep everyone warm and dry? What do I need to do to the gardens to "put them to bed" for winter? So even though I truly enjoy Fall....Autumn...whatever you may call it..I am now in "preparing for winter mode" They Hay is stored...most of the firewood we will need is stacked...and I need to get a few extra hundred pounds of feed put up, in case we can't get out to get more. Some areas of the garden are done. Tomato's are finished, so I will get that area cleaned out and get the old bedding from the barn in there. As each area finishes up, I will try to get it all covered. Once the winter sets in, and lays a blanket of white on the garden, the bedding will then work it's "magic" to enrich the soil. So, get that work finished up before winter sets in...but don't forget to enjoy Fall...go for walks in the woods...or parks..take in the beauty of the colorful Autumn leaves. Slow the critters of the woods pack away their stores for winter. Enjoy this season...while it lasts.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Finally some relief from the heat!

The last 8 days we have had temps in the 90's with high humidity and little to no breeze. To say the least, it has been miserable. Very little has been done outside....just the main essentials of feeding and watering...and watering....and watering. All of the animals have been hiding in the shaded spots...not really wanting to eat much. Even the chickens when I let them out in the morning...they will mull around for a bit, but then head straight to the thicket to take cover from the sun. Today however....we have a cold front moving in. Rain...beautiful...wonderful rain! I can almost hear the ground sigh. The high today is supposed to be 78 degrees. Yes, we are liking this weather. This morning after morning chores, I stopped at the garden to take a peek and see what was going on in there. The strawberry patch has completely been taken over with weeds. I decided to start in on pulling weeds and finding the strawberry plants. The humidity is so high out there that even moving slowly makes you break out in a sweat. I was able to get one row cleaned out pretty well. Once I get it all cleaned plan is to lay down a layer of cardboard and top it with the stuff from the barn. Hopefully I will get this finished before winter sets in. I had to stop with the one row because my back was really hurting. I walked over to the green beans and saw that there was quite a few out there needing picked. I got to work picking them when suddenly I was gagging....weird...I didn't feel sick to my stomach...then I realized the odor. It sorta smelled like castor oil. STINK BUGS! They are really thriving this time of year...and because I was picking in the garden, I guess upsetting them, they were stinking up a storm! YUK! I hurried through the rows...picking as fast as I could. I was able to get about 3 quarts after cleaning and snapping them. This time of year I start putting the green beans in quart jars. I can about 60 pints for us, then the rest in quarts to have when company comes for dinner and to send over to our son's. Those grand babies LOVE grandma's green beans. The owner of the feed store in town, where I buy my animals feed, told me last week that his sweet corn should be ready in a few weeks. He plants about 3 acres of sweet corn. Once he gets what he needs for his family, he lets a select few people come pick what they want. He told me I would be allowed to come get corn in a few weeks. I will hopefully be able to put up at least 60 pints, and a few dozen in the freezer. Then I will put up a few quarts for our sons family too. Once winter sets in.. I will get busy canning the tomato's I have in the freezer.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

So, NOW summer wants to show up?

Jeesh. Last month, August, we had temps in the 70's and 80's.....maybe a few days in the 90's. Strange for August. Now we are in September...and we are having a full week in the 90's. But we know, soon, we will have our fall like temps...and I for one can't wait. The gardens are finishing up....but still giving enough to keep me a little busy. Now, those pigs.....jeesh. Everyone tells me just how smart pigs are....well...I beg to differ. Remember I made a waterer for them? Well, they still have not learned how to drink from the nipples. So, with the temps in the 90's plan is to make sure the barrel is full today with cold water....then take peanut butter and smear it on the nipples. THAT should work.....right? I mean, they should go biting on the nipples trying to eat the peanut butter...and realize water is coming out. I plan to wait until later this afternoon, when they should be good and thirsty. Hope this works....because I have no idea what else to try. Wish me luck! I have been off of work for 2 weeks....and trying to get things ready for fall. Of course that can't last forever....back to work soon. Then I will be pulling double duty again. I better go eat my cheerios'