The End of Summer

Hay delivery Labor Day is as late as it can possibly be this year. For most New Englanders that meant an extra stolen week of summer. And a lovely week it was. The farm told us that Labor Day was last week. The nights got chilly, the bug count went down, the last few frogs quit croaking at night.

So far the only downside is feeding. Everyone is eating more food that we provide. More pigs are coming down at feeding time, the birds are eating more grain and the horses (with sheepish help) killed a bale in four days instead of the six they’ve been doing all summer.

Garden harvest Against that, we finally got some warm weather crops from the garden. The cukes are about gone. There’s only three or four left on the vine. Our pickle experiment was a great success: They’re yummy and because they were in a closed jar, we didn’t have the white yeast to skim off. We got the dill right, but were a little light on the mustard seed and garlic. We need to can them, but we’ve got some margin and can wait for a chilly rainy day.

Oyster mushrooms in the wild It continues to be a good, if just less than great, ‘shroom year. We went out yesterday with only one basket because it had been dry. That was a mistake: We filled the basket after covering just about half our normal route and then found a big though young flush of oysters on the way home. The’re still there, we’ll get them when we go out with two baskets later today. We finally got a decent haul of boletes too. We ate them all, but we have hopes now of getting ahead and having some for winter.

Since no farmer can ever actually admit that things are going well, I’ll mention that the sheep have once again found a hole in the backyard fence, and that the firewood which is lying all over the place needs to magically cut and stack itself.


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