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Autumn is coming...and with it ALL the chores

First year of farming is all about mistakes. I've learned to accept that. Everytime we do something right, we did at least two other things wrong. So far, nothing major, which I am thankful for. However, it does keep us on our toes. And personally, my feet HURT!


Fall has arrived, I am grateful for the cooler weather it brings, and the earlier nights we get. Chores are slightly easier since the terrible heat isn't wearing us out as fast. Don't misunderstand.....there is still SO much to do.


Being our first autumn here, I have been trying to take in the cues from the local flora and fauna to see how to proceed with future endeavors. Little signs of when to harvest or plan for late summer crops - what's still popping up? What's going to seed? Watching the ponds wax and wane, realizing the eggs from frogs and toads are becoming scarce. Noticing geese flying south, animals stocking up, and coats of fur getting heavier. All signs of the season I have such difficulty with every. single. year.


Except I think farming has changed that. See, in Ohio, we have the full power of all 4 seasons. Sometimes we skip spring and/or autumn. But most often, we get to experience them all. Winter, is one long, harsh, unforgiving time I usually try to ignore. This year, though, I have learned that while there are still chores in need of completion, that's really all their is. We can't set posts, or put up fencing, or build a barn in the middle of winter. Caring for the animals and confirming the safety of our property from the freezing temps, is pretty much all we can do outside.


So what does that mean for me? It means I can focus on schooling my boys, get many knitting projects completed, read some new books, research and plan for the upcoming year, order seeds, build raised garden beds, prep for a real garden, enjoy all the canned/frozen goods from the summer, bake, cook, play board games and catch up on some rest from the hard work we put in the other 3 seasons.


Autumn is here. We still need to run water to our heifer and sheep. We need to run water to our chickens and donkeys. Automatic coop openers need to get installed. We have to get a wood shed built, so we can clear out our barn for future projects. I still need to plan out school for the upcoming month, or two. Would love to get some mini clover down around the house. Kinda thinking that we are going to need another coop as well..... Then there is the perfecting of scooping sawdust (of which is killing my lungs and sinuses, masks cant get here soon enough!), collecting of manure for the compost heap, and getting more electric fencing installed so we can move the sheep and heifer into another area to mow down before the first snow hits.


I know its only September, but don't you worry. Winter is hot on autumns heels, and it will be here - cold and ruthless - as always.


-A


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