Friday, October 16, 2015

Freeze Tag

Fall with all of its beauty and activities also hits you with the urgency brought by the change in seasons that every living thing seems to feel.  Wild animals have an urgent need to put up their winter stores whether it be the squirrels going like crazy collecting and burying nuts or mammals like raccoons, foxes and coyotes trying to pack on a little extra insulation.   If we are going to have a predator problem it will be in the fall.   We have been fortunate in the last several years, but this fall we have had a pesky raccoon (we think) that has culled our egg laying flock by four in the last month.  The most recent a straggler who didn't head for the coop to roost last night and was inadvertently locked out.  Fall is the time of year when extra little tasks, like re-fortifying small flaws in the chickens' fenced in yard, get piled on the list of busy harvest and closing down related chores.

Today, we have the added frenzy of freeze tag.  Our first and season ending freeze will happen this evening.  I do not remember having a freeze warning this early before.  We have certainly had frost advisories this early in the past, but the term freeze warning makes gardeners do double time.  We have been pretty close to done with the garden for a little while now, grabbing a straggling tomato for a sandwich from time to time.  But today, TAG, we are it!  So off we went to harvest the remaining green tomatoes, those peppers that we let continue on for fresh, and though perennial, our abundance of delicate sage.

So, mowing or weeding be damned!  In today's little game of tag, plans are changed up a bit because once you harvest certain things, they just cannot be left to sit.  So I spend time bundling sage to hang and dry in the basement, and also put together a few smudges.  As with any game of tag, freeze tag does leave you invigorated and perhaps a little more motivated to push on.  Oh!!  And Mabel went in to heat yesterday for the first time.  So perhaps in about 18 days or so, we will see if we can't inseminate her and have our first farrowing experience this winter!

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