Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's starting to feel like fall

Tomatoes?! Tomatoes make it feel like fall? Well, here they do. It seems we don't get any yield to speak of until late in the season. Rick brought this bowlful in on Sunday, and I put up five quarts that night. We should get quite a few more before the end of the season, so I plan to put up some more condensed tomato soup. Brian often requests it and a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. But after seeing a yummy-looking recipe on Farmgirl Fare for Green Tomato Relish, I'm also looking forward to collecting all the green tomatoes that won't have a chance to ripen before it gets too wet and/or cold. Between the relish and a rhubarb jam recipe I'm going to try, I should have some edibles to gift as well as treats for us over the holiday season. Yes, more and more I'm thinking ahead to the not-too-distant holiday season - another sure sign of fall!

Fall also means making sure the barn and woodshed are stocked for winter. The woodshed is still woefully empty, but Rick recently came home from a client's with this lovely load,three tons of third cutting orchard grass for $130/ton, a real blessing in quality and price considering what is usually available around here. Best of all, it sounds like this client will now be our sole, reliable source for good hay from now on; no more searching and sourcing hay from several sources each year. Thank-you, Lord!

Oreo the barn cat is, of course, queen of the hay stack. But she doesn't spend all her time lounging about. Another sign of fall is rodents looking for winter quarters, and she helps keep them from taking over our barn.Way to go, Miss Mouser! (Click to biggify only if you aren't a bleeding-heart for mousies!)

And spider webs! Are they a sign of fall in your area? I getting really tired of getting a web-festooned head every time I go outside!

We had some nice showers over the holiday weekend, just what Brian's strawberry patch needed according to Farmgirl Susan - hurray! Actually, it was what everything needed around here, after an exceptionally hot, dry summer. (Marybeth recently described our climate as "Mediterranean," with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. I hadn't heard that before, but it sounds fitting.) Rain brings mud, which gets on the eggs from the girls' muddy feet, but that's okay. We're celebrating the end of Welsie's molt; she is giving us her lovely chocolate-colored eggs again. Below, Ebony is enjoying a dust bath; she is our dependable layer of green eggs - and the hen that flies off the perch and crashes into the henhouse wall every morning (ouch!):
A nice, gentle rain does such beautiful things to uncovered fleeces, meaning Bramble's and Bronwen's. Unfortunately, I have tried and failed to capture that beauty with my camera so I will leave you with a photo of Brava in her new coat before the rain:
That's it for now at . . .

10 comments:

Leigh said...

We have spider webs all summer long! *lol

Oreo looks like an excellent mouser. Great shots. Actually great shots all. I can almost smell that hay.

kenleighacres said...

The fall is very welcome here after a long, hot summer. Your hay is beautiful and how nice to have a reliable source! Good girl Oreo.

MiniKat said...

Ah the smell of hay and ripe tomatoes. Yup it's close to fall. Or as my FH says, "it's the most wonderful time of the year." [He prefers fall to winter.]

An English Shepherd said...

Yes its starting to be a bit like that here as well.

Wizz :-)

Christine said...

Good job, Oreo! I so would like to have a barn cat. But the dogs don't agree with me.

I'm sick of the spider webs too. This morning was especially foggy it was quite the sight. Of course I was in a rush and couldn't grab my camera.

kristi said...

oh yes, those webs are everywhere! I had my broom out the other day to get them in the barn. I read somewhere that one needs to keep them clear of electrical outlets. Autumn is the best time of the year! Glad to hear you have hay! I just put up another 160 bales. I have not decided about Jasper, but I know he would appreciate it:)

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Ummm! Green tomato relish! My Mom makes some killer tomato relish! Good luck with it! Its a real treat!

Sharon said...

I finally have enough tomatoes to put up! I'll be coming back for that green tomato recipe. I'm not into frying - yours looks good. I'm hoping to have more red than green in the end, but I'll probably be needing your recipe. Hope not, hope not...

Theresa said...

Oh, I'm jealous, 3rd cutting! And such a good price. I'm keeping it a secret that there is such a thing as third cutting from my crew. :-)
Great mousing pictures. Way to go Oreo! Love the new
Brava coat. Did you actually get rain? They predicted all last weekend and not a blessed drop here.

Michelle said...

Theresa, there are only a couple small growers around here that I know of who irrigate and get multiple cuttings. The closest to us almost always sells out to those higher on the list than we are, so we have been lucky to get a couple tons here and there. Being at the top of this other guy's list is such a relief! We got 7.5 tons of second cutting from him, plus the 3 tons of 3rd cutting; next year he'll give us first dibs on all we want.

And yes, we got lovely rain all three days of the holiday weekend up here; such a blessing!