Insta-autumn

How on earth did it get to be September already? One week in, the calender and the weather both agree that it is definitely September. A good thunderstorm on Saturday ushered summer out and autumn in over the course of about an hour. This has definitely been an odd year for weather in these parts!

The frenzy of life continues on apace around here. We are slowly clearing out the garden beds that have stopped producing, and are cycling through the chicken ark to let the girls work up the soil and eat up whatever weed seeds and bugs they can find. The winter squash and pumpkins are developing well, although we’re fighting to hold off the powdery mildew until we can bring them to harvest. My early volunteer pumpkins and gourds, on the other hand, are all ready to be harvested! Check out the bounty I picked this morning!

Fall crops have gone in, including Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and collard greens. We have some kale, lettuce, beets, and carrots that germinated, and I have a late planting still to put in. My seed garlic has been ordered and will arrive sometime this month, to be planted in early to mid October. I’m really getting my second wind for gardening now that the weather is nice and cool! Planning the vegetables for my Thanksgiving table is a good motivator, I think.

The pigs are getting big, and are scheduled for the butcher next month. We’ll be harvesting the first of our roosters this weekend, and we’ll plan a day not too long afterwards to harvest the ducks as well. I’m keeping two young females, and possibly one of the young drakes, but the rest of the 15 young Muscovies we hatched will be headed for the freezer. Two are headed for the Yuletide table. We actually started raising Muscovy ducks because they had become a holiday tradition, and being able to raise up our holiday meal gives me a special feeling of gratitude.

The weather is also bringing back my knitting mojo, which suffers greatly during the summer. I did better this year than most, since the heat and humidity held back a bit and the house – which I should mention, lacks air conditioning – actually stayed pretty pleasant, meaning I didn’t have to fear my yarn felting in my hands! Still, the hectic abundance of chores and other activities does cut into my knitting time. Fall serves as a reminder, even though there’s still tons of work to be done, that my knitting deserves more attention than it’s been getting. Right now I’m working on a baby blanket and a poor neglected sweater that’s been languishing for a while. But more on that later!

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