Here it is, the beginning of November, and I am still bringing fresh produce in from the garden. The forecast for next week looks pretty grim, though, so I thought I better get serious about finishing up this year's garden chores. I picked half of the Swiss chard and put it in the freezer, and have been drying parsley and sage all day. I also brought in half a bucket of Brussels sprouts, even though they will hold well into December; I just hate to trek up there and pick them in a sleet storm, which is what invariably happens.
We had a bountiful summer here and feel very fortunate on our little spot of land. The barn is full of hay, the root cellar is full of potatoes, beets, cabbages and carrots and a locally purchased bushel of apples. The tomato crop was pretty stupendous this year until late blight took down the vines; I have quarts and quarts of canned tomatoes, stewed tomatoes and tomato juice. Even with an extended drought, we managed to put up green beans on top of eating our fill, and even had a small crop of dried beans, which I have yet to shell. We ate cucumbers and summer squash and snap peas like they were candy all summer, and I still have lettuce in the greenhouse. We have several cords of wood already cut, split and stacked. All in all, a lot to be grateful for in such uncertain times.
Lest you think farm life is "country-magazine-idyllic" though, I should also mention that the tractor had a flat, the sickle bar mower broke (in the middle of haying), the clutch on the tractor PTO no longer works, and the 3-point hitch had to be repaired. We lost 3 ewes to dog attacks last month, and today's crisis is the well pump for the barn well has finally given up the ghost. (We estimate it's at least 40 years old.) Scott is outside pulling pipe. We don't even know how deep the well is! There's a new challenge every day, it seems.
On the bright side, new chicks will be arriving next week for our egg-laying flock, and we are trying to get into a terrific farmer's market in Binghamton for next year. With winter's arrival, we will draw in and make next year's plans, poring over seed catalogs and creating maps of the future. In the blink of an eye, spring will be upon us,