Fall Approacheth

My family poses on (and around, for Grandma Bailey) one of the hay bales in the ridgetop field.

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.

Scooter "El Conquistador Timido" examines the entrance to the small cave we've found. Neither Scooter nor Lindsey will go in it.

Lindsey poses next to the Crazy Plant. This unidentified monster has the biggest leaves I've ever seen on a plant this far north of the tropics. Anyone care to ID it?

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.

The turkeys hold court on the front porch while I was shelling black beans. The turkeys are always doing something amusing.

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.

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10 thoughts on “Fall Approacheth

  1. Julie Heim says:

    Lyle (my husband) and I are amazed how much you have accomplished in a short time. Wished we lived closer, I would love some of your parsnips, well as a matter of fact, it all sounds good. Shelling black beans already?? We truly enjoy all the messages we receive from you. Greetings to Lindsey, how do I get on her updates? The goats are cute too.


  2. Sheila McGuire says:

    In case I didn’t make myself clear in an earlier comment, I would love to order one of your Thanksgiving turkeys, if it’s possible to have it shipped here. Would you like for me to check on that, or do you have info already? I love your blogs…I love reading Lindsey’s, too, and am always entertained, but I can hear your voice reading yours. Wish we had thought of it earlier – did you know your Papa had a goat named Lucy when he was little? I saw that Jake had suggested Lucy and Ethel and since one of the goats is red, it seems like there would have been certain symmetry in naming her Lucy. Maybe for one of her kids…

    • farmerlady says:

      Wow! Our first order! We’ll mark you down for one Thanksgiving turkey. We’ll have to figure out a way to get it there. I’m sure we can freeze it and then ship it in dry ice, or we may even be able to bring it to you depending on what we end up doing for T’Giving. I think they’re going to end up being around $6-7 per pound. Is that alright? They’re heritage birds and take twice as long as the regular factory-farmed ones to get to the size most people want. They may not be too big this year since we only got them started the last week of June.

      Thank you so much! You’re our first order!


      • Sheila McGuire says:

        Sorry I didn’t see your reply sooner. First, congrats on the increasing size of the goat herd! You must be an absolutely awesome negotiator, to have gotten so much for your money. It sounds like you may have established a great contact with the goat farm for future growth as well.

        The price on the turkeys is fine, sweetie. I understand that I’m not getting a typical grocery-store bird and you deserve to be paid a fair price for all your labors. We’ll work out more details when we’re in Breckenridge, okay? Can’t wait to see you both there!


  3. Randy says:

    I have done a little research on the tree. The closest thing found so far is a tilia tree (white basswood). It has large leaves as in the photo which are white underneath. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilia_heterophylla

    Is that it?

  4. Kelsey Abney says:

    I’ve had trees like that before! My parents grew them in Pennsylvania but I have no idea what they were callled… They’re really funny in the winter because the leaves fall off and it just looks like sticks protruding up out of the ground.

  5. […] Fall Approacheth September 2010 8 comments 3 […]

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