Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Homestead Update

Fall depresses me.
Here we are, entering October. It's fall. This fact is now unavoidable.

I cling to summer as long as possible. I love shorts and T-shirts. I break them out early in the spring, even if I shiver at first. I continue to wear them until I can't take it. At least there's a few more weeks of short sleeves left this year.

The garden is done for the year. I have a few lingering peppers, and maybe a handful of cherry tomatoes, still hanging on. The rest is done. I decapitated the poor, ghostly sunflowers yesterday. I picked all of the dried beans in the pod. I'll probably have the Things sort through them for some extra ca$h.

Chasing and squealing at the chickens was a sight to behold.
A good laugh in the most depressing time of year.

Thing #3 helped me feed and water the animals yesterday. All told, we're hovering steadily at 17 chickens, down from the original 26. No eggs yet.

Meatloaf checking out Thing #3.
The sheep are doing superbly. They are big and fat, and very healthy. I almost didn't get Pot Pie back in April, since she was only 3 days old when I went to get them. But I'm glad I did - she is by far the best looking, biggest, and healthiest of the 3. I've thought about roasting Pancake and getting a better ewe to match Pot Pie. Maybe next year.....

This weekend, I am going to move the friends into the garden. The weeds and grasses are really long. I'll have the sheep take what they will for a week, but leave the chickens in longer to till it up and get ALL of the bugs and seeds. I will also take the sunflower stalks, long okra stems, and some other materials and shredding them through the chipper. I'll get some tree limbs, fall leaves, and other materials to add some more organic punch to the garden. Then, the plan is to cover it up with black plastic until spring to warm it up, encourage composting action, cause all of the seeds to sprout, and then kill them due to lack of sun. Keeping that on through the first warmth will be challenging.

Chickens will help to weed, de-seed, pest-control, and fertilize the garden bed this fall.
No more standing around the water cooler. Get back to work!

Donkey is doing fine.

I will also be doing some wood cutting this fall, mostly in preparation of hugelkultur building. That should be fun.

Lessons learned. Produce enjoyed. Success celebrated, and failures endured.

Fall depresses me. We come to an end, yet also a new beginning.

On the very, very bright side, I am starting a new full-time position on Monday that allows me to work full-time from home. I will get more time for daily tasks, and can hone and automate this system even more so. So that is a very exciting thing that certainly helps to temper the otherwise bitter sting of the chilled fall air screaming across the browning, dying earth.

Another summer gone. A new job starting. Closing Year #2 of our homestead project brings a lot of excitement, anticipation, and hope in an even better next season.

Of course, I will keep this blog updated with the winter progress and preparation for next season. Good things are coming......

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