Monday, November 14, 2016

November Hill farm journal, 22

We are fully into autumn now, with gorgeous color and leaves falling like mad. This morning I was momentarily overwhelmed by the sheer number of leaves and manure piles on the ground and then I reminded myself that both are compostable whether I get them raked into piles or not.

After many days of dry autumn we finally got rain last night and the horses and donkeys stayed in the barn for the first time in awhile. It was nice to wake up this morning to horses outside the windows right next to the house. 

In the garden it looks a mess, but the good kind of mess: my husband just dug up the large patch of sweet potatoes he put in and we have quite a harvest. I laid them out to dry after he washed them this morning and thought about all the good ways we'll eat them. Sweet potato shepherd's pie, sweet potato chickpea curry, baked with a little cinnamon and brown sugar, sweet potato pie, and maybe I'll try a new recipe I saw today: flourless sweet potato brownies.

In the fridge is a sugar baby watermelon that volunteered in the barnyard. Along the outside of the fence an entire long row of cherry tomatoes are hanging off the cat enclosure wire which they used as a trellis. I'm not sure if they're edible after the frost but if not they are still red and look almost ornamental there. I suppose the birds will enjoy them.

This weekend we bought a Montmorency cherry tree to plant as the first official fruit tree on November Hill. I saw an article after purchasing it that said these cherries are good for making the tart cherry juice heralded for health benefits and I'm eager to try making it when we get our first harvest.

The chores are lined up like dominoes. I finished painting the cat tunnel two weeks ago but only this past week got to the tung oil application. I'm 1/3 of the way through and had to stop due to the rain. I still have the final two screens to do on the front porch, and the porch steps. We've had busy weekends and my progress has slowed, but I'll chip away one domino at a time until I'm done.

We have a wood stove to clean, a catalytic combustor to replace, and wood to prep. And we also have a mystery critter in the attic to catch and release, and gutters to clean. Tree limbs to cut, hay to pick up and unload. The moment I think I'm ahead more chores pop up. When I stop calling them chores and name them projects somehow it feels more manageable.

A fun chore has appeared in the long row of dominoes this week: we signed the contract to have the barn roof replaced in January and I have to pick the weathervane! We're going with a green metal roof with functional witch hat cupola. I am torn between the traditional horse weathervane and more unusual ones: a cat, a Corgi, a shooting star, trees, a leaping deer. I wish I could commission a horse, donkey, Corgi, cat one but that will have to wait for some future time!

Speaking of cats and Corgis, Bear is doing well as a single dog. We all keep imagining a puppy or a rescued Corgi or another rescued pup but for now he seems to be handling this solo time well. With four cats in the house there's never a dull moment. This morning Pippin was running along the cat walk above our kitchen cupboards and refrigerator and he slipped and fell behind the fridge. A huge scrabbling thunk and then a series of deep-throated yowls was my wake-up alarm this morning. He was promptly rescued and I hope has learned he needs to be very careful up there. 

Across the lane our neighbors just brought home two very young donkey boys who I met over the weekend. They are as cute as little donkey pies and it is such a wonderful thing to hear more donkeys braying in our neighborhood. I haven't yet heard any answering back from Rafer or Redford but I expect that's soon to come.

With all my longing for autumn I find it hard to believe that we are approaching Thanksgiving already. I want the days to slow down so I can enjoy this season. It's passing much too quickly. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

It's true the work never ends and sometimes it can seem overwhelming but then I think what would I do without something to keep me busy. I'm not a sit down and watch tv all day kind of person. Once in a while a day off seems like a treat.

We still have a few colorful leaves left on the trees and it's raining today which we need. And the temps have been in the 60's, I'll take it. I can't believe it's only five weeks until Christmas. Why is it the older I get the quicker time seems to pass.

billie said...

Five weeks!! Oh, my goodness. It's true - the time goes by more quickly as the years pass by.