It’s hard to believe it’s really, officially autumn. I like it, though. The temperature here has dropped into the 60s and lower-70s, which is PERFECT in my book. The leaves on our tulip poplars are starting to fall, but the maples are still holding on to most of theirs. I can’t think of a better season to have moved into our farm; it feels like living in a storybook right now, and I all I want to do is pour some cider and drink it all in.
I finally finished putting hardware cloth on the windows and door of the chicken coop over the weekend. (There will be a more detailed post about that soon.) The hens also got to come out and free range for the very first time at the new house on Sunday. Those were some HAPPY chickens! I had the windows open in our family room while they were out, and all you could hear was the sound of the hens scratching through the fallen leaves. The cats sure enjoyed sitting in the window to watch them too.
We spent last Thursday night hanging cages in the barn, then brought home a trio of rabbits to the farm Friday night. We got two New Zealand does and a mystery-breed (presumably a mix) buck. The does are calm and sweet. The buck is very skittish and he scratched me up pretty badly when I was moving him from his carrier to his cage. He and I are still working on building a rapport. (I told him he’d better be a good daddy or he’s going to be replaced with a purebred New Zealand buck like we’d planned originally. I don’t think he believes me.) More on the rabbits another time too…
I spent the day Saturday canning tomato juice with my mom. We didn’t can tomatoes last year, so the larder was looking a pretty skimpy! We did a bushel and a quarter, and ended up with 25 quarts. We set aside the quarter bushel that wasn’t quite ripe, and Mom is planning to can those later in the week after they’ve ripened up a bit more. It’s going to make great soup-base all winter. (Mmmm…)
Myles even got in on the action! He helped turn the handle and mash the tomatoes down into the Squeezo. I was surprised too — he didn’t just “play” at it. He downright insisted on helping for well over an hour. Then he took a break and came back to help some more! He doesn’t remember, but this was actually his second time canning tomato juice; he just doesn’t remember the first time, because he was about 5 months old and snuggled against me in his Ergo carrier.
I went crazy and ordered four varieties of organic garlic to plant this fall. I don’t know when I think I’m going to have time to dig up a bed and plant them, but I have high hopes. I’ve never grown garlic before, but it doesn’t seem difficult. I’m a HUGE garlic-fan, so I think it would be fun to try and grow our own. It will be the first thing I’ve put in the soil at our new farmstead.
Speaking of our farmstead/homestead/whatever, you may have noticed I’m starting to use the hashtag #LittleRedFarmstead on Twitter and Instagram. Consider it a preview of things to come in the next several weeks… 🙂 I’m so excited to make some changes!