17 September 2017 – Sunny and currently 32°F at 7AM – High of 67 forecast today

What the heck happened to the summer?  As all good times, it went way too fast. Here we are looking at autumn and prepping for snow. So long, summer! We have come a long way since last year, and an especially long way from two years ago.

This year I have a lot less apprehension about winter. Last year in the camper was pretty tough but this year we have a warm house, a wood stove and a wood shed full of wood.  I feel like we are much better prepared, and actually even a little excited for the change of seasons.

We have been busy, not only getting firewood, but winterizing the garden.  Overall, the garden did pretty well for us, yielding a ton of tomatoes, jalapenos, and cucumbers.  The corn and the potatoes were total busts.  Mother Nature must be telling us to cut out the carbs.  Anyway, here are some of the ways we have been trying to put up tomatoes.

Yesterday, we knew it was going to be near freezing so we pulled out all the remaining plants.  There were tons of green tomatoes but they all got tossed over the fence for the cows.  It only took a short amount of time before Mar-Z, a huge hippopotamus looking cow, came looking for food and ate all of the tomatoes she could find.

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Mar-Z found the Mater Plants
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Picking off the tomatoes

We have been composting food scraps and chicken waste and will dump that in the garden over the winter, hoping that the soil will do even better next year.

Dave has been working on a coat rack/shelf for the mudroom.

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Installing wood dowels to connect the boards

 

I have been avoiding the bees, trying not to disturb them as they are getting ready for winter.  I will open the hive one more time and treat them for Varroa Mites.  In November, I will probably wrap their hive in tarpaper and put on a hive top feeder with sugar water just to help them if they need more food. 

The chickens seem pretty happy with the cooler temperatures.  All of the Islanders are laying eggs and we get three nearly every day.  One of those poor girls is laying gigantic ostrich size eggs that usually have two yolks.  This one was so big I couldn’t even close the egg carton! 

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Big egg in the middle next to two regular sized eggs

 

Fresh eggs are the best.  I don’t know if we could ever go back to store-bought eggs.  Meanwhile, the Freeloading Faveroles still haven’t produced a single egg. 

Tractor Dave and I are slowly tackling our list of things to complete before winter.  We are enjoying the cooler temps, the blue skies, the yellow aspens, and the wild turkeys that wander through the yard.  It is quiet and peaceful here and life is good on the Holler. 

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Typical September Day