Can you feel a hint of Fall in the air? The nights have defintely been cooler and I’m sure our first frost is soon to come. It’s been a while since I’ve put Fair week behind me and written a post. I guess I’ve been busy with catch-up and now the seemingly urgent last call to finalize that ‘to-do’ list before the snow flies! Top of the list is to paint those French door additions to the shop!
As for the garden, I’ve ‘put-up’ most of the tomatoes now into salsa and the freezer for later use this winter in stews, chili and sauces. There’s a few stragglers left to ripen on the vine. I’ve canned a few jars of dill pickles too! It’s not too late to plant another batch of mixed leaf lettuce. Basil needs harvesting – again – and I’ve got to get after it before frost strikes. Basil is usually the first herb to go when cool weather strikes! I like to pick it and pack it into the food processer with a little extra virgin olive oil and puree it finely. Place the puree into an ice cube tray and once frozen, pop it into freezer bags or a container. Don’t forget to label! One cube is about one tablespoon. It’s great to use in sauces, pesto, etc. and tastes just like FRESH-picked! YUM!
Aside from a list of garden chores…and there’s lots to do yet, Dennis has FINALLY completed construction of the “Chick-mobile” aka mobile chicken coop. This project was undertaken to provide a more sustainable farm environment for managing our small flock of layers, sheep and dairy goats (and our newest family member…Katie’s Kentucky Mountain Gaited Horse, ACoolCat).
Chick-mobile side view
Chickens love to “scratch” up the yard as they forage for juicy bugs and such. As our gardens have grown over the years, allowing the chickens to range has become difficult…while cultivating the beds, they usually destroy the seedlings underfoot! The mobile coop is our alternative to our existing ‘barren’ scratching pen and provides the “free range” that the girls love to maintain their healthy lifestyle. It’s ‘parked’ in the sheep pasture which is full of lush green grass and hours of endless pleasure – for the chicks! During the winter months, they’ll be moved back into their stationary chicken coop.
The coop has big double swing doors on each side for easy access to clean the nesting boxes and collecting eggs. The front view provides a ramp access door as well as screened window. My only concern at this point is predators… The other day I was visited by a chicken hawk who swooped in for a closer look. You should have seen the chickens run for cover!
I’ve also been working on some fiber projects as I prepare for the Mt. Bruce Sheep and Wool Festival Sept. 27 – 28. Visit www.sheepstuff.com
for additional festival details. Be sure to visit my booth and support locally grown/handmade woolies and such for sale. Be sure to save the date for the 11th Anual Country Heritage Color Tour Oct. 3rd – 5th. I’ll be one of the 13 historic/farm sites along the tour! Maps/brochures can be picked-up around local Almont/Armada/Romeo area shops and businesses.
So, spend a day in the country and visit a local farm stand soon!