Sunday, October 02, 2005

Feeling Squirrely

Went out to the field after lunch today and painted the fruit trees below the first branching on each with white paint to protect them from sunscald this winter. I am waiting for the tree wraps I ordered from Jungs to come so I can finish wrapping the trees, mulching them, and putting my wire cages around them for the winter. I am debating adding an additional wrap of wire window screen over the tree wraps and may go ahead and buy some screen when I go to town this week on errands. It was so nice out in the field. It seems like the minute I go to the field traffic picks up and people s-l-o-w down and crane their necks to see what I am doing. Some wave at me. I wave at some of them. I wish I knew their names. The air felt warm and the wind is picking up warning me that rain is on the way. The trees are peaked in their fall colors and beautiful in the bright sunlight, and the leaves are falling like rain. The orchard area looks pretty good now that I have finished the final hoeing for the season and cut the grass. The gooseberries, currants, raspberries and asparagus need only their winter mulch. I took some pictures. Hopefully I'll have enough pictures to choose from soon to put together a farm web site.

This week I have to go to Phillips and pick up my 4-H truck order of fruit for canning and the freezer. The Bayfield Apple Festival is this weekend; I am itching to go and get my yearly fix of apples, pears, and pumpkins there. When the cold weather finally sets in I am ready to bake and can! Nothing beats the smell of apples, pumpkins, and bread cooking in my kitchen. This time of year brings out the squirrel in me! I can already picture my basement shelves lined with shining jars of new jams, apples for pies and applesauce, spiced pears, and pumpkin puree. Yesterday my sister, Mary and I, went to Dad's and all of us made sauerkraut the old way in the crock; 22 gallons worth of Bohemian style kraut that we will go back and can probably the first week of November. Dad sharpened his homemade krauter slicer and it only took us about 3 hours to get it all done. He taught us how to make it the way his mother did, and he oversees how much salt and caraway seed and onions we add while he slices the cabbage on the krauter. My arms ache from tamping the cabbage down in the crock, but I can't wait to get some of that kraut with a duck in my big crock pot with some potato dumplings.

Saturday I also have the Landowners Tour with the Price County Ag Extension. These kinds of educational trips are my "vacation" days. I get to socialize and stimulate my intellect. I am already making mental lists of things to do inside the house this winter.

The chickens are getting big and all of a sudden I find I have a choir of roosters that sing all day. I am somewhat angry about having this many roosters because I paid for female day old chicks. The company I ordered my chicks from guaranteed 90% accuracy on the sexing and even as bad at math as I am I don't think 8 pullets out of 25 chicks ordered makes for 90% accuracy. I will find a different hatchery for next Spring's order and the next cool weather we get I'll do some butchering. My pullets will then be able to mature in peace and feed costs will go down.

Well, I better get going and fix supper, so I'll leave off for now.