Falling Fast

For what seemed like a long indian summer, we are finally getting frosty mornings and early, dark evenings here. I’m not particularly thrilled with the lack of sunlight, makes doing anything productive seem twice as difficult..
Our squash, pumpkins, and ornamentals are decorating the porch nicely. I’ll admit I’m pretty proud of growing everything ahead of time instead of spending the usual holiday money on extra decorations! We didn’t get as many gourds that originally popped up thanks to the overly wet late summer here and a little overcrowding, but still quite a few nonetheless. Next year- mums maybe?
Since our garden is still fresh soil and needs extra attention we would like to take the time to turn it over with added nutrients before winter really sets in. First Eric mowed over all the leftover corn stalks and I am still pulling the last of the dead vegetable plants. The majority of it will get raked to the center, then we’ll do a controlled burn followed up with a cover to rest for the season. The added tilling should help loosen up even more of those notorious NEPA rocks (is ‘boulders’ an understatment?) We’re going to have to tackle a whole new plot for a cut flower bed next year but I’d like to just chill out on the digging for a little bit.
Americaunas started laying and they have the prettiest blue and olive eggs! It does make checking the hen boxes an extra treat. We definitely got cursed by roosters this year. I butchered the first of the birds a few months back by myself after finding an injury, and though we would like to do the rest ourselves, time and schedules just didn’t allow. It’s not that we aren’t capable- we’ve both cut up plenty of game birds- we just had to do what was necessary between traveling, harvesting, and working. Next time, cluckers!
Fall doesn’t mean planting season is done though… a few things I’ve always wanted to try are in dirt and ready to get started. Two types of garlic are in rows about 20′ long each and mulched with pine needles- Spanish Roja (a violet, mild flavored variety), & Thai Fire (I tasted it, hot and spicy!) Plus horseradish from Bill (Eric’s dad) and three blueberry bushes. We will be adding berries in spring but got a great deal on these three. In pots to start indoors are also ginger roots and turmeric. These two aren’t as hardy in our winters and also spread like crazy so until I have a set spot for them will be keeping in sunlight inside.
Apple cider vinegar that was made with leftover scraps a few weeks ago is in it’s second ferment now, and there is a full jug of fire cider in the fridge to help fight off the colds that come with seasons change. Some new kombucha flavors for this month are mulled spices, birch beer, and grape berry. Next on the ‘to-do’ list is winterizing coops and waterers, and possibly  moving some pig fencing to get them back on fresh pasture until they go to butcher.
The only thing that has me excited about colder weather is  more time indoors to work on craft ideas and projects. We’ve already started planning the garden and some additions for next year- it’s never too soon! For now though there’s a few weeks left of enjoying the sunset over the lake with hot tea or cider, the one thing that never gets old or goes out of season for sure.
*******EDIT: 11.7.17 first snow! : )

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