Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fall chores and doings...

 This pun'kin got out of the fence.

The garden has been producing well just now.  It's end of September, but never mind, the garden wants to grow and thrive so I'll let it!   I'm not sure why it waited so long, but I'll take what I can get and be thankful for every bit of homegrown goodness it will give.  Every time I slice a tomato or cucumber or zucchini, I think about what lovely organic veggies my garden has willingly produced.  I know that in a short month or less, I will be fresh out of fresh veggies and will resort to the grocery store bins once again.

Today I picked all of the ripe and orange-tinged tomatoes, all of the peppers and onions, and I gathered up a bucketful of lettuce that I planted in late summer.  The basil came back strong so I snipped it back down to the ground, cleaned, and froze the leaves in a freezer bag to use later.   I'm leaving the carrots in the ground, and I'll pull a few as I need them.  They are quite insulated under the ground until the hard frosts start coming with regularity.  We are expecting a possible freeze tonight and tomorrow night so I'll cover the tomatoes with blankets to guard against the cold.  The high elevations and mountains nearby have a chance of snow while we have good prospects of rain the next couple of days, and as is usual for us, after the chill, there are nice days to follow.  Could it be Indian Summer?  I hope so because I have a lot of green tomatoes left on the vines.


I spent part of the day gathering scrap wood from the shed that the fellas are building.  They saw off the short ends and drop them on the ground and I have been picking them up to use as starting wood for our soon-to-be fires in the stove.  I ended up sweeping out the garage and throwing out some junk from certain corners, and then I stacked wood in the proper corner where it belongs.  Gathering firewood is always a fall chore that I enjoy.  I especially like to go cut fallen wood with Hubby.  I like the smell of the chainsaw cutting through logs and the flying chips of wood.  A thermos of coffee goes well with wood cutting.


The cottonwoods are turning.  There is one particular cottonwood tree that I always watch every Fall.  It's on the way as I walk to the mailbox.  It starts out like a middle-aged man with a streak of gray coming at the temples, then it gradually progresses a little more and a little more until his whole head is gray -- or golden in regards to the cottonwood.  Finally all his hair falls out.  We have a couple cottonwoods and several ash trees in our yard that always sport autumn gold leaves.   They give the grandkids great joy when they fall and can be raked into piles for jumping into.

I ordered a quarter beef  from the local butcher a couple weeks ago and called them today to ask if they'd keep as much tallow from the beef as possible for me.  I have plans of rendering it down to use for frying.  Here's a good link on the how-tos of rendering.  Nothing much better than deep frying or cooking with good tallow, and it's good for you too!  The clerk mentioned that they have some fresh lard blocks available from recently butchered pork so I'm going to buy a little of that for my freezer.  I'm beginning to do some Fall stocking-up.


I've been busy with some painting projects this fall.  I helped my daughter paint the outside trim on her house, and then I helped the newest Mrs. in our family begin painting her Honeymoon Hut so she and J. can move in in January.  There is much more painting left to do there.  I just completed a painting project in my kitchen too.  I'll share that with you later on.

All but a few more loads of hay have been hauled in to the hay corrals.  Number1Son made a third cutting of hay in a low spot of one pasture.  Unheard of for us.   He hopes to get it baled into small squares, but at the moment, it won't cure.  Not much heat this time of year. 

The pullets are laying eggs like crazy.  I'm so proud of My Girls!  I even have a pullet hen who lays double-yolkers!  So far the raccoons and fox haven't found the door to the coop and I hope they don't.  I really must guard against forgetting to shut them in at night before it's totally dark.  The roosters are going to have to go soon.  I'm thinking about roast chicken.

I'm always sad to see Summer go away.  It seems like such a short season for us here in the North, but I know with the passing of Summer there come new things to look forward to in Fall.  Cool Fall days bring sweatshirts, faded jeans and wool slippers to replace shorts and T-shirts and bare feet.  The hoses get rolled up and put away and so does the mower.  The potted posies are replaced by pumpkins and Indian corn.  Cold salad lunches are replaced with hot soups and chowders.  Air conditioning and fans are replaced with a wood fires and candle light.  The sun fades earlier and earlier and darkness calls us away from our outside work and indoors to each other.  I like that part of Fall best of all.  What is your favorite part of Fall?

16 comments:

  1. I love the air in fall- so crisp and clean and even better if there is wood smoke! I love to hear all your doings. Me, I re-grouted a bathroom today. : ) Angela

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grouting a bathroom is a big job!

      Delete
  2. Your marigolds look quite happy !
    We have been having decent sunny weather still lots of flowers blooming , even the begonias are still going strong outdoors and we are in New England ! ~ a bit of Indian Summer for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The marigolds are quite robust, aren't they? I'm thankful for flowers that hang on so long and look great.

      Delete
  3. Jody, I love reading your posts and hearing about your life so far away. We're kind of in the other corner of the nation. Whereas you are sad to see summer leave b/c your winter is so long ... we are the opposite. Our winter is gone is such a quick flash, and summer seemed endless. Endlessly hot, buggy, wearying ... :) Oh, how I adore fall when the cool weather comes! I love the drop in humidity, and that I can walk outside and bike and feel so comfortable. The idea of wearing something other than shorts and tank tops (and still sweating). All that description in your last paragraph - yes! All those replacements sound lovely :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad for you to get a nice cool down. We'll be sending it over soon.

      Delete
  4. Wonderful post. What I enjoy abut fall is exactly what you described. Preparing, stocking, gathering, and tidying up are all of my favorite things about fall. It is my favorite time of year. Oh yeah, don't forget hunting and butchering. I am not looking forward to the snow on Friday. Hopefully, it will be fleeting. I enjoyed the post. You may have even inspired me to stain the back deck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bonnie, you remind ME to oil my front porch. I need a nice sunny day for that. Maybe this weekend!

      Delete
  5. I feel the same way...I am cherishing each tomato and sprig of basil that I cut up for a salad or stew. The air feels different these days, and the smells of the plants and earth, but I can't put my finger on it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow -- where did summer go? And a frost already? I hope the ash borer doesn't make it's way to you. There are some big plain states between us, sparsely populated with trees, so maybe that nasty bug won't be able to make the jump. Sounds like you're getting ready for winter and it all sounds so lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  7. My fav of fall is the crisp smell of cold in the air! The changing leaves on the trees as if everybody is getting ready for a long winter nap.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I enjoyed reading about all the doings around your ranch. Fall here is a lot like spring...not quite so hot, but still pretty warm and toss in pesky allergies. Ragweed and mountain cedar = aaachooo.

    ReplyDelete
  9. LOL, Angie's rosters just when in the freezer ;-)
    It is very wood stove weather here, which is fine w/ me!! xoxo Clarice

    ReplyDelete
  10. We had such a poor tomato season but are getting a few nice ones here at the beginning of fall. Our fall season is long, though the sun won't be strong enough to ripen summer veggies for much longer. Now we have lots of lettuce, spinach and kale in the ground, and broccoli, carrots, cabbage and cauliflower, too. The broccoli is beautiful!

    Still trying to convince the Man that we need chickens ...

    Love your description of the cottonwood tree like an old man going gray!

    xofrances

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like your idea of getting ready...it gives me such pleasure to get the farm/house ready for winter. Makes me feel industrious to know the animals and I will be cozy, warm and fed when winter is deep on the land.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are such a nice helper, Jody! I like the way your family works together!

    ReplyDelete

I love reading your comments. Thanks for stopping in. Sorry, but due to spam, only registered users can comment.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...