Sunday, October 23, 2011

Preparing for Fall

Now that the chicken harvest is over chores at the farm seem to take almost no time at all.  The cow is out to pasture and only needs to have his water checked.  He often comes into the barn to have his nose and head scratched when I'm there.  The hens only take a few minutes twice a day. The cats are fed while I'm waiting for the cow's bucket to fill with water.  The dogs take much more time and energy than anything else. 

We took straightened up around the farm and got things ready for cooler weather.  We put the chicken tractors away in the barn.  We cleaned up the feeders and waterers and stored those.  The chicken processing equipment was all put away.  The hammock and lawn toys were stored. 

After straightening everything we took a walk down to the garden.  It's been several weeks since I'd checked on things there.  My attention for gardening waned as the summer turned into fall.  I let my broccoli flower and my lettuce bolt.  I didn't expect that I'd find anything but rotten tomatoes.  Instead, I was pleased to find five good sized bell peppers, several pounds of almost ripe tomatoes and a bunch of jalapenos.  The chickens were pleased to receive a dozen or so tomatoes that weren't fit for us to use in the house.  We even enjoyed several end of season raspberries as we stood at the garden and talked.

The corn behind the house is drying out.  Our rainy weather lately hasn't helped the process.  Right now the ground is much too soggy to bring the combines in to harvest.  I don't know that I ever paid attention to the different colors that corn can be.  Ours has gone from bright green to a light khaki.  At each stage of the growing process it also has a unique sound.  Now it's almost a percussion instrument like the brushes on a snare drum.

The bees were also getting ready for winter.  The last time I checked them the top box was about 70% full of honey.  I need to do the final winterizing for them this week.  That will require a trip to the bee supply store.

It was good to have this weekend to do some straightening.  The sun was beautiful, the temperature was mild, and the work was light.

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