Sunday, August 18, 2013

Triple Creek Farm, August 17, 2013

I have always been told you are never too old to learn, as you know we have been sharing the garden with raccoons, Mr. Bootsie purchased a new trap this week so we could have one a backup.  The new trap was set, raccoon caught, our contact was called and before he could arrive the little darling was gone.  It had escaped from the cage, after carefully checking the cage there was a weakness in it and the little pest had eaten his way out of the metal cage.  The escape hole was not large, it was about the size of a softball.  I have always been told they could get into a chicken house through a hole about the size of a man's fist and now I do believe this.  I have always tried to keep a close eye on the chicken coop to be sure there is no damage to the outside boards, now I will be checking this as I have seen first hand how easy it is for them to get through a small hole.

IN THE KITCHEN

The smells of the kitchen have been wonderful this week, there was sourdough bread, cucuzzi bread, corn bread, refrigerator pickles, salsa and meals with fresh veggies from the garden.  Taco's with fresh salsa, tomatoes freshly picked. eggs with spinach and feta cheese, spinach and artichoke pizza, the last of the spring cabbage with potatoes, sides of cucumbers which are sweet and soured.  The tomato sandwich on homemade bread.  Sweet cucumber relish waiting for the winter when there will be bowls  of beans topped with a spoon of relish. The dehydrator has been busy drying all of the different varieties of squash I grow.  Mr. Bootsie commented that the kitchen has been none-stop all week, there was always something smelling wonderful when he came in for a glass of water and/or a snack.

ON THE FARM

A chill in the air has one thinking of fall and the need for fire wood.  The serious gathering of firewood started this week.  We knew where they were trees which were dead and it was just the process of going into the woods to get them.  We have been watching one very large tree which died, Saturday morning when I was on my walk I knew it was time this tree has to come down.  Before nightfall this large tree was one the ground, with a smile on our face knowing we no longer had to be concerned about this tree falling during a storm, the gathering process will begin and this will be added to the wood pile.
Orange mushrooms growing around the base of the tree 

I am trying to get the goats out on their walks because the leaves will be falling in a few weeks.  I want them to enjoy as much of the greens as we can get into them.  They are now choosing where they wish to munch when out of the pasture.

IN THE COOP

Never count your chickens, last Sunday was not one of my best days. I lost one of my layers after sharing with you how many hens were laying at this time.  I tried my best to save her but I think she was very tired and needed a long rest.  We care about them and do everything we can for them but this is just a fact of life and we have to allow the cycle of life to take care of matters out of our control. I am going to control how many girls I have in the coop as I have no egg customers and I really am not planning on going into the egg business.  If someone comes by and there are extra, I share.  Little ones are growing and so cute, there were outside playing in the dusting bowl and chicken tractor, how they enjoy being out of the coop.  Right now we, always, are there when they are out of the coop just incase something goes wrong.

IN THE GARDEN

The raccoon salad bar is keeping me busy.  They have found every ear of corn, I will not be growing corn in the teepees next year,  The raccoons can climb the teepee poles and get all of he corn, the problem is they tear down the beans and other things growing on the teepee.  Another lesson learned this year, I do hope this problem is under control but I must be pro-active. I pulled out one row of green beans vines as the pole beans are producing quite well.  I planted a new one which was called a butter bean in the seed book but I knew from the seeds it was a snap bean.  I really like this one and I am thinking it may be a bean I add to my planting if the taste is what I am looking for.  Tomatoes started coming in good this week,  I picked two baskets one day.  Cucumbers are slowing down, I have been feeding but the night temperature is dropping and I am sure this affects them.  The climbing squash have grown over  the tunnel, as one of them is 100+ days to produce, they are keeping us in squash at this time of the year.  Fall garden is being planted and I am remembering how the voles munched many of my plants last year so I am trying to plant a little extra for them.  My beets have been feeding the voles from underground and the raccoons above the ground, somedays I wonder if I am ever going to win.

IN CLOSING

This week the temperature dropped for a few days, just a tease I am sure, fall is my time to the year. I can get outside and work.  I look forward to getting more things in order this year as I have made some decisions which will make my tasks easier in the future.  I am excited to have the cold tunnel ready to be covered and I can plant in it this year.  The lettuce is up and I will be planting more. I look forward to having my own lettuce and spinach this winter.  These chilly evenings we took a little while to light a fire in the fireplace, have a nice cup of tea, reflect and dream about our little farm.  Are we where we had hoped we would be?  I have no idea, but where we are today is special,  I see us being able to live off the land a little more.  This pleases me, oh, so much.

Thanks for dropping in, take care of yourself and I look forward to visiting with you again real soon.