I’m not ready for Fall.
Not even remotely.
There’s still so much to do before that nasty “w” season hits.
This weekend we’re working on a duck coop…part of our problem last year was the coop we have just didn’t keep everyone warm enough. Even with heat.
And, if you remember, it got buried after we were hammered repeatedly by blizzard after blizzard after blizzard.
So we’re building something else. Bigger foot print, taller for ease of entry for humans, better insulated for ducky health. Not that I really want to build something, but, in order to keep the flock healthy, we need to.
So we will.
Meanwhile, the garden is rolling along.
Huge, growing like crazy, starting to produce…at least, that which the grass hoppers haven’t eaten.
I’ll have enough tomatoes to make a batch of wine.
There’s a ton of carrots and beets…
Well here’s pictures:
There is so much food in there…I just have to wade in and bring it out.
And put as much as I can into jars for winter.
Also in the pictures, where I’ve been cutting the grass short to work on the ever expanding garden.
I need to prep a bed for raspberry canes, to put a couple rhubarb plants, an area for asparagus, and figure out where to put a half barrel for horseradish.
I also have 4 grape cutting growing like mad that I want to plant this weekend.
And, if I have a chance to harvest any grapes (there’s tons of bunches, but will the grasshoppers get them? We’ll have to see…) that’ll be awesome. I’m also going to grab a couple dozen more cuttings to get rooted and growing over winter.
And then there’s the meat birds to get into the freezer.
Coops to clean (which goes hand in hand with that garden expansion very nicely…) and after coops are cleaned out and the bedding piled into the spots, I’ll get Hubby to spend a day or so bringing me bucket after bucket of rotten horse crap to top the chicken bedding/crap. Then that can all cook down over winter to become plantable in the spring.
On top of all that, we’re on our 3rd day in a row of Loop pickup.
That’s the food waste from grocery stores reduction program we’re a part of.
Feeding food waste to farm animals.
Welp, we were offered a coverage pickup Sunday.
We said yes.
We were offered another coverage pickup Monday.
We said yes.
Today is our regular bi-weekly pickup.
So 3 days in a row…
I am not complaining.
Not even a little bit!
It’s a lot of work to sort and process and feed out, but damn, it’s a huuuuuuge help on the feed bill.
Especially with the pekins, white turkeys, and geese.
These birds…I tell ya, they could eat a farmer out of house and home!
But they love the produce, the bakery stuff, the dairy…every one is growing beautifully and is super healthy.
And, we’ve been offered a weekly pickup at one of the stores we typically do random coverage pickups on…so YAY for that!
Going into winter, we’re looking at 5 pekins staying (for breeding next year), a pair of geese (for the same reason) and the muscovies. We have 2 drakes that are leaving the breeding program. Neither one have desirable traits to continue in the program, so they’re gonna go camping. Freezer camping. 😉
Of the 3 ducklings we had hatch (another reason to have a 2nd duck coop, to have a bachelor pen come broody season…hard for hens to successfully hatch when the boys are being pains int he butt), we know we have 1 hen and 1 drake for sure. The 3rd, little Potato (yep, a duckling named Potato), we’re not sure yet…leaning towards drake, but it’ll be a few weeks before we know for sure.
Then come spring we’ll do some cross fencing in the duck yard so we can pair off certain hens with the best drakes and so we can extend the lives of our current drakes…by that I mean, some of the boys, once they have fathered too many ducklings, go onto freezer camp. But if we rotate them though hens, tracking which keeper hens are parented by whom, we can cycle them through the drakes with very little inbreeding.
Just for even more fun.
Our local mega mart has gotten in their cases of roma tomatoes.
Look, I *want* to say that I’ve 1000% figured out our micro climate and am rolling in the tomatoes so much so that I have more than I can put up…but I’d be lying.
So I watch the local canning groups for reports of the 1/2 bushels arriving, and when that happens, I send the Hubby off to get me some.
If I wait beyond the first week craziness, the prices tend to drop and I can get 3-400lbs of tomatoes for a really good price.
Then comes the canning.
And the crying.
And the reminding myself that there’s no crying in canning!!
Oh yeah, and the insane loopiness.
Which is alleviated with a nice cold drink at the end of the day.
Ah well, soon enough the summer/fall work will be done, and we’ll transition seasons.
As always, the wheel continues to turn…