Friday, November 13, 2015

Indian Summer

It came one night, we were prepared, the tunnel was covered and all of the winter plants were covered.  I had picked peppers and pulled pepper plants which were stored in the tunnel.  I left the corn until the last minute,  corn-on-the-cob in late October.  I went out to check as I had done for several mornings as there was a promise of frost for several days.  I would pick summer spinach each day it was still green and growing knowing the end was in sight.  Morning low 27, the spinach was frozen, leaves on the remaining pepper plants and butter beans burnt from the cold.  Looking I found many pods on the butter beans and if we have the time they will fill.

Indian Summer came, the weather has been beautiful.  There were a few peppers on the plants and they managed to recover.  I have been amazed watching them grow.  We will have a couple of fresh peppers off our plants a little later in the season.  Butter beans are growing and we will be picking them.

It is time for the chickens to grow their winter feathers, this means they must molt, molt means they will be loosing the feathers which covered their body earlier this year.  At this time as the nights are chilly I have half naked chickens trying to stay warm.  The sad thing is they want nothing to touch them.  I have one who hides in the nesting box at roosting time.  There are several running about with only 1 large tail feather.  My roo, Mr. Wonderful, was the first to molt.  His feathers are back, he is working on his saddle feathers, the long ones which float around him.  This year we have 12 molting, the coop is filled with feathers and I am not cleaning the coop until the molt is over.  Then I will bring in new bedding and they will be set for the cold winter.

So far I have only seen one acorn on the forest floor.  Last year there were so many acorns, I collected them and was able to have treats for the goats during the winter.  I have seen the goats out looking for the acorns, they seem to know which trees to check but there seems not to be any acorns for my girls.  Hickory nuts, yes, there are lots of them which makes the squirrels quite happy.  They are working all the time carrying them to their nests. I see the results of their work on the ground.

We have not slowed down, there is work to do thinning trees, collecting dead trees from the forest floor.  The storms of last few weeks have bought down a number of dead pine trees, we use the pines for garden borders, as they break down and adding their goodness to the soil.  We do stockpile garden border logs so there is always a replacement when I find ones that no longer are of service to us.  This came at a good time as there are several borders in the garden needing replacement after this summer.

I found myself one evening eating a bowl of our vegetable soup with some homemade bread which was quite yummy but the fire coming from the wood stove reminded me we did all of this with our two hands.  We speak of comfort food and things which just make a house a home, let me say a bowl of homemade soup and a fire in stove says it all.

I am enjoying this Indian Summer, we made our trip to the orchard and there is apple everything in our future.    Peach pits to plant and apple seeds, maybe one year we will be able to harvest from our own trees but until that time I will look forward to the fall trips to the orchard.

This year, the mild fall season has lasted for such a long time.  I had this blog ready to post for a while but I was waiting but now I find it is time for me to move forward.   I will share some pictures of our tunnel which will be our fresh food source during the winter.

Austrian Winter Peas

Swiss Chard

All covered waiting for the winter cold
Happy Indian Summer, enjoy everyday, and maybe with no acorns the coming winter might, could be a mild one.?.  Until!!!