Approaching Fall

It feels like fall this week. My cows love the cooler weather. They have been chasing one another all around the paddock and are very playful. The chickens have taken up their decorative positions for Autumn:

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Despite our being nearly into August, I am still enjoying some late Spring and early Summer garden delights. This year in keeping with our farm philosophy I did my research and planted local heirloom seeds developed to produce longer in our weather. It seems to have paid off as we still have an abundance of lettuce, our third round or strawberries, and some happy snap peas:

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I’m also excited to begin enjoying all these in earnest:

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The approach of Autumn has also seen some of our older chickens go into molt. One in particular seemed to explode overnight! On our doorstep, no less. Although the coop didn’t look much better:

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Our friends at a farm in Tully who purchased their chicks at the same time as ours, report that their barred rocks have begun laying:

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It is harder to tell with ours, since we already have brown layers. But I did notice today the rooster took a particular interest in them for the first time. So I think it is safe to assume they have begun laying too. I am looking forward to the appearance of some easter egger eggs!

This little taste of cool weather has prompted us to do lots of baking and cooking too:

 

 

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Including my famous triple dipped fried chicken. If you try one recipe on this site, try this one! It is so easy and incredibly delicious! All it takes is two dipping dishes: one with egg, flour, and garlic, and the other with flour and whatever herbs and spices you like (we use a mix of herbs and season salt). Dip in the dry, then the wet, then the dry again. Then deep fry! Whenever I make this, it gets devoured within minutes:

 

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We enjoyed this amazing rib roast too; delicious grass-fed beef from the farm down the road. Put in a crockpot all day with some broth, soy sauce, honey and garlic and served over rice. Mmmmm!

 

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Cool weather also reminds me that times of plenty wont always be with us. So I’m storing up all this yummy freshness in my freezer. I always make sure to freeze my food flat on a tray overnight before  sealing it, so they stay individually frozen instead of in chunks:

 

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I love my vacuum freezer! It does such a great job of keeping everything fresh tasting for months:

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So now my freezer is stocked with lots of yummy sweetcorn and blueberries:

 

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We’ve also been trying out this amazing antique butter churn given to us by some friends. This thing is quicker and more effective at making creamy butter than my blender!

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We’ve also been using our surplus of watermelon and blueberries to make some delicious smoothies:

 

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We’ve enjoyed the kindness of our neighbors delivering fresh flowers for the table:

 

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And took some photos in the last of the Lillies before they wilted:

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I love watching the animals grow. Watching the kids grow. In September my little guy starts Kindergarten. Time goes so quickly. I’m so thankful for each day I have to enjoy it all.

 

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Beautiful Things

This week was the culmination of an unbelievable amount for work as we put on the Wild West Community Fair I was the organizer for this year. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into this day – literally. It went well. I was pleased, and relieved: it presented to the community a lot of things I believe in.

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I love people. I love helping people. I love having conversations with them. I love learning from them. I love being amazed by them. But, humans are complicated.

Today, after going straight from coaching a U6 soccer game to setting up and running and cleaning up the fair, delivering eggs in exchange for blueberries, then having a lovely but fidgety movie evening with my family, to going out and feeding and checking on the animals, my brain found itself in shock. 

Because all day it had been going something like this:

“I’ve asked this expert to speak, is there anyone that might have a different view? Should I put this tent in this location or will someone else want it? If I play these two kids on the field will I be able to watch the other two on the bench? Am I watching my own kids enough while I supervise this activity? Am I being too firm with them? Have I thanked everyone I should? Did everything get cleaned up alright? DId everyone enjoy it? Did the boys clean the eggs well enough for the delivery? …”

And suddenly found itself in the quiet of a field at sunset, with beauty and peace.

I like animals because, compared to humans, they’re easy. And that is coming from someone who studied people for a living. If a cow moos at you or your chicken seems a bit saggy, you can google it and fix it. But it wasn’t just the simplicity of problem solving that gave my heart peace tonight.

It was beautiful. It was quiet. The animals had a respect for and interest in one another that only beasts defined by simple needs and satisfied by such simple ends as basic food and shelter can share. I could sit in the peace amongst creatures that knew me and were glad I was there.

We can learn a lot from them, if we try. As I walked back toward the house, knowing my children were sleeping in their beds, with food in their bellies and a safe loving home, I was grateful for those small and simple things in life too.  I love the beautiful peace of the wild things, and the tame ones too. 

 

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