Fall is coming very quickly, especially for those of us who are used to South Texas. In South Texas fall is more of an idea than an actual season. No trees change color, there’s no falling leaves, and we really never have a frost until maybe January, if then. Here it’s Labor Day and we haven’t used the air conditioner in about a week, the smaller shrubs and trees are starting to change colors faintly, and I can definitely see my breath in the mornings. In our rural neighborhood the second or third haying is being finished, the corn mazes are springing up, and pumpkins are starting to appear at roadside stands. Alas, the squash bugs got our pumpkins.
This weekend we took advantage of the wonderful 70-degree weather and went hiking around our property. We always discover new things and enjoy passing by some of our favorite spots, such as the cave and the Crazy Plant.
Bailey and Scooter love to go on the hikes. Sometimes the turkeys try to follow, too, but they get tired quickly. 🙂 They just like to follow me wherever I go. It’ll make the week before Thanksgiving logistically simpler if they keep doing that. Today I was sitting in the porch swing shelling some of the black beans we’ve grown and the turkeys decided to come sit on the porch with me. A couple of them even decided to sit on the other bench. They’re funny, I tell you.
We also got the fall veggies planted today after a trip to Louisville to buy a suit for my brother’s wedding. Hopefully we can just cover them during the tricky cold nights and have a good harvest through late November. Today Swiss chard, spinach, parsnips, carrots, lettuces (Romaine and Simpson’s), snap peas, and onions went into the ground. I’m trying an experiment, so I just basically swept the squash vine remains into a corner to compost in place and then prepped the soil before I mixed all the seeds together and scattered them. I’ve seen some permaculture videos about doing that and it seems to work out well for them, so I thought I’d try it. I’ll keep you posted on how it works out.
As noted yesterday, the final batch of broilers for the year was put out on pasture this weekend and they are doing well. I just wanted to report on the first couple of tractor moves because I’ve never seen anyone else discuss this point before. In any case, there is a definite learning curve for the little chicks the first couple of times the tractor is moved in the morning. I can understand. If my house started to move one length over, I would be freaked out too. The little chicks don’t know what to do the first few times this happens. They learn to walk along with it pretty quickly, but the first couple of moves always happen in 1″ or 2″ increments with multiple stops when loud squawking alerts me to the fact that some chick has a leg (or wing, or neck) stuck underneath the tractor somewhere. Right now we’re still in the learning curve for this batch – today moving each tractor took 4 or 5 minutes. Usually it’s less than 10 seconds. The White Rocks from last batch learned quickly, though, and I’m confident that these chicks are bright enough to figure this out soon.