Frost warnings, the end of the summer garden when will it come. This year our garden has lasted, I think, longer that I can remember, Monday morning there was a good frost burn across the garden. I said goodbye to the basil plants, climbing spinach, eggplants and peppers. Tuesday, all of my beautiful flowers were brown. The water hoses were frozen, which means I will be hauling water for the ducks, goats and chickens. Winter on the farm, for the last few years a gallon jug of warm water did the job for the chickens. This year things will be different. Time to make plans to make my life a little easier. This is one to ponder.
IN THE KITCHEN
My quest to use the things I froze and canned this past season is working. I used frozen squash and broccoli. Sunday, I cooked a pork shoulder the way my momma cooked them, she would cook them in a pot of water on top of the wood stove. This was one of the best shoulders I have eaten in many years. The broth was put in the fridge and the fat came to the top. I removed all of the fat and used the broth to may a pot of the most delicious great northern beans which was, also, cooked on the wood stove.
ON THE FARM
The goats are settling in. They are coming out for the chicken walk each afternoon. Hershey, the smallest goat, is in love with the ducks. They are not returning her affections. They run like no tomorrow every time she get close to them. Chickens feel the same way. It is really wonderful being able to have them out with us without leads on them. Friday afternoon, I went to check on them and the gate lock was undone. I know Gracie, the momma goat, had figured this one out. I always keep a second hook on the gate as I have always been told they will get out.
IN THE COOP
I am now pulling chickweed for the girls and ducks. They seem to enjoy all I bring them. I purchased pumpkins last week for less than a dollar each, it may be an old wives tale about they are good for worming the girls but I enjoy seeing the ducks and girls eat the pumpkins.
There is never a dull moment in the coop. Guess who has gone broody! Aurora, I hope she gets over this quick. I am not going to hatch chicks with winter coming. This week 15 hen eggs, 7 duck eggs.
IN THE GARDEN
Things have changed in the garden this week. I am now pulling all of the vines and carrying everything to the goat pasture. I am not ready to let them in the garden. It was a shame for the vegetables to be killed by the frost. I offered things to neighbors but I guess they would rather not come over and pick them. I do not know a lot about saving seeds. I did want to try and save the seeds from my cucuzzi as there were no plants of this type in the garden after the squash bugs finished with us. I could not believe how large the one I collected for seeds has grown.
I decided to plant more of the walking onions and garlic. Thursday afternoon, I finished planting the walking onions. I should have plenty of sets for anyone who wants them next year. The onions and garlic I have planted a few weeks back are growing, I weeded and mulched some of them this week. I am starting to work the soil in the cold tunnel. I have dug out a wonderful crop of rocks. I am going to bring in some of our compost to improve the soil and I have some lettuce plants I want to transplant in the cold frame.
It is sad to pull all of the plants from the garden, but there is the excitement of seed books and making selections for the garden next spring. I can already see I am going to be doing things a little differently. The goats love the blue dent corn I raised, if I garden to raise feed for my animals my garden will have more of a purpose than just feeding us. I may be able to cut back on the amount I grow and learn to plant through out the growing season.