Now we must turn to our turnips, and cold weather squashes and dream of stews full of potatoes. We still have quite a few batches of meat birds, we'll be pushing the limits of weather but the mighty freedom-ranger birds do well in all kinds of heat and cold. We are looking forward to the few months of the year where the morning isn't so rushed with echos of peeping hungry mouths and the demands of keeping several hundred poultry dry, hydrated and full. For us, this won't happen until early November, but we can see it on the horizon. I love raising chickens, and eating them, but absence in this case does indeed make the heart grow fonder. I'm ready for a later start, a lower grain bill and a rest from the chore of processing. It wears on you, the process of turning live fowl to dinner. The work and responsibility both.
We are preparing for shifting of routines and chores. The smell of wood stove smoke, chipping ice out of sheep troughs, positioning heat lamps on rabbit kits are a few of the autumn's requirements. The greenhouse will need tending, keeping weeds at bay and acting as the weather gods- adjusting moisture and heat accordingly. With any luck, our holiday meals will include fresh salad greens along with home grown turkey and orange spiced cranberry sauce.
Our first summer on this farm has been the most wonderful and the most challenging. There have been moments where frustration has rose in great waves, near crushing volumes. But still, here we are- bringing good food to good people. The hard work has been rewarded in smiles and better equipment which will usher next summer in hopefully with slightly more grace. This is only one summer of many, and though I'm not rushing to next year- I am excited to see what comes. But first, we will savor the fall crops, and let the snow fall.