October on the Farm
It’s been a few crazy months here on the farm. July and August were all about playing catch-up on the farm. Fixing up the garden with new dirt, new fencing, weeding, planting, and keeping it all growing. For having started the garden so late in the season, with the extreme warm September and October weather, the growing season was extended enough that we’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, kale, basil and peppers right up to today.
While the garden and chickens have been happy and healthy, we have been a bit stressed coming back to everything and rushing to catch up. Both of us found jobs over the summer (well, I had moved back knowing I had an offer and started a few weeks after our return) and have been working hard. Unfortunately, we are working hard at things neither of us enjoy, which has lead to a bit of frustration. We keep reminding ourselves that we moved back to Vermont for a reason. Jobs are few and far between in this area but we have kept looking and will continue to do so until we find jobs in our fields. Until then, strong coffee, pep-talks, wine on the porch, and chicken hugs keep us going.
Moving back to be near family has been lovely. Our nieces love having us closer and we enjoying being back to a steady part of their lives. The oldest who turns six this month did her first sleep over with us and it was a great success. She is a girl after my own heart and enjoys gardening and chicken tending as much as I do. She spent almost all her time with the “girls” and they received more treats than usual that day. While she claimed that she doesn’t like veggies on her pizza, she certainly picked enough in our garden and insisted we put them all on the homemade pizza that night. Funny about not liking veggies as she ate not two but three slices of pizza that were stacked high with tomatoes, peppers, squash and kale. The next morning she had her sneakers on before we had poured our first cup of coffee and was out the door to see the chickens. She enjoyed bringing home a huge bag of kale and other garden goodies for her mom and sister to enjoy.
September just about flew by with county fairs, farm chores, family gatherings and before I knew it, the calendar had been flipped over to October. Hunting season for wildfowl starts this week and we have been getting our gear ready. I just ordered a second pair of distance glasses (gulp) for me – the one good pair will stay in my purse for driving and work while the second pair will be slung into my hunting bag so I can see the birds clearer this year. I wanted a nice blue pair to match the trim on my hunting gear (I know, I know, I’m such a girl!) but thought my husband would kill me and of course lecture me that the birds would see my glasses….personally I feel if they are that close they should be getting shot at already! But, keeping that in mind, I placed my order for a neutral brown pair. Shipping said 3-5 weeks so fingers crossed they arrive sooner than that!
In the meantime, I’ve been picking all the tomatoes and peppers that have exploded in the garden and am trying to stay on top of them with creative dinner ideas and preservation techniques. Stuffed peppers and chicken enchiladas were on the menu and I even froze a bag of stuffed peppers for later. Friday I froze banana and bell pepper slices that we can use for later and on Monday, since I had the day off, was able to put up three jars of stewed tomatoes with peppers and spices which will be great for fall chili or soup recipes.
While the tomatoes were stewing on the stove, I put some of the summer decorations away and pulled out my Halloween and fall items. Nothing says October like some grinning jack-o-lanterns and black cats! It has been so warm here that it just hasn’t felt like fall but I know that will happen all too soon. Watch, all this nice weather and on Halloween the poor kids will have to wear snowsuits! Ah, well. For now I’ve got my craft list going as it is town-wide yard sale day in Poultney on Saturday. Love it! My list keeps growing of things to keep my eye out for. I find I craft a lot more in the fall, winter and early spring months when I get home from work and it is already dark. If I can’t be outside working in the garden or on farm projects, then indoor crafting it is. I’m trying to get an early start on some homemade Christmas gifts so we’ll see how that goes.
Well, that’s the news from the farm for now. Until next time,