Friday, October 7, 2011

7 Oct Update on the Farm

This week has been mostly about fall chores and prepping for winter though with temps still in the 80s and some tomatoes still on the vine its hard to think of winter but...they have to be done.

We have been cutting wood, harvesting, figuring what to do now that Thelma and Louise are in Estrus ( we want to wait until spring to introduce them to a beau) and of course cooking.

Just a few snaps of the activities.

I just thought this picture of Holly in front of one of our apple trees was great and it reflected the fall colors starting to happen around here.

We still have lots of flowers in bloom but the leaves are falling, the nights are crisp and its definitely feeling like fall.

This years black walnut crop was huge. The friends we let harvest them earned a couple hundred but its back breaking work and this picture shows that even right after they were all picked up (literally the day before this picture was taken) more fall to the ground awaiting harvest.

This was our first sweet potato harvest a couple days ago.

All smiles as we find that our efforts have been rewarded.

This was from just a couple mounds and all we did was add sawdust to the soil, a little fertilizer (organic of course), cover it with a permeable ground cloth, plant the slips and then we forgot about them til now.

Maybelle follows us around like a puppy when we are in the pasture, always looking for treats.

I have been trying to get some pictures of Thelma and Louise that shows their size as they are quite large now but so far it just doesnt come across. They are in estrus and a bit randy but they look good and we are waiting to introduce them to a bull until early spring.

And..another cooking picture. Last night we made a pot roast with our garden vegetables and herbs, some red wine, caraway seeds, mushrooms, and a side of roasted herbed potatoes.

Some friends of ours that have the cattle ranch where we have posted pictures of us working the cattle offered to let us cut wood on their acreage so we have been dilligently trying to catch up after my lay up. In return I am going to work on the ranch and was told tonight I will be operating the big tractor (cab, turbo diesel, big enough for 1000 acres big) next week and it sounds like an experience. He has been somewhat of a mentor to me and I have learned a lot about handling cattle and all things farming and look forward to any opportunity to learn more. 

We cut the wood, loaded it on the truck, unloaded it, split it and stacked it all today. Of course Bandit was on hand to supervise.

And we continue to clean out the bottom floor of the barn and are hauling and cutting old unusable wood for kindling. This was done a couple days ago and is just a start.

The leaves have started to change and its gone all quiet except for the coyotes who have been active lately and the sound of Bobwhite quail.

We have a couple of chainsaws but I really like the Stihl MS 310 the best. Its easy starting even when hot and it has enough power for the oak and hickory we are primarily cutting. My only complaint is that its so heavy.

The second Sweet potato harvest we did today was even better than the first..

Big potatoes with virtually no blemishes.

We harden them off in the sun, then take them inside for a few days then wrap them in newspaper and store them in the root cellar. They will keep all winter and make up a big part of our winter starch.

We are finally making headway on the old wood pile. I was really sweating it after being layed up with the back surgery and though its hard work, there just is nothing more comforting or enjoyable than spending a day in the woods cutting your winter fire wood.

We still plan on cutting 3 or 4 more cords over the next week or two but we are getting there.

This is the haul we are storing in the root cellar and we gave lots away as a lot of yields werent very good around here this year due to the drought.

And finally, our second black eyed pea harvest with lots more to come.

We are tired but satisfied to be getting back into the "get something done everyday" mode. If you live on a farm you know how harvest and fall chores go, the inside of the house is totally neglected, the smell of earth is all over us, and we are scrambling to stay up with it all. Its a very satisfying time of the year.


  1. WOW, that's a lot of getting done, getting done! And what a beautiful pea and sweet potato harvest! Glad your back up & running.

  2. Hi Andy and Holly. Jerry and I love your blog! It has become a Friday ritual for us-- imagine our disappointment when there is no update. We always knew that you two would thrive in your "retirement." The best part is that you both are reaping the benefits of all of your hard work-- a blessing for two people that have always worked so hard. Take care. Jolene