More Farm Catch Up (Ketchup?)
Saturday was the day. Another 12 chickens met their doom, DOOM, DOOOOOOOMMMM!!!! and that’s all the chickens we’re going to do this year (18 total). They’re plucked, emptied out (livers and hearts saved in a baggie) carcass’ cleaned, and dropped into 2 gallon baggies and put in the freezers where they await the arrival of the “spare time” fairy so we can take them the rest of the way to long-term storage (cooking down, boning, and canning)
Last Spring we hatched out some spare roosters and enough hens (14) to make a small wintering flock (remember?), and kept the likeliest looking young rooster – so we now have 15 chickens and 5 guineas.
Thanksgiving week is Kitchen Week! The Boss will be home all week, and the kids will be gathered (so MAYBE we can put them to work? MAYBE???). We need to deal with the chickens, and make jam from the wild raspberries we picked last Spring, and also make stuff out of the frozen apples, peaches, & whatever else in down there in the bottom of the freezers. If we can get the freezers empty enough, maybe we can unplug one?
We’re also hoping that we can con Em into making some fresh whole wheat bread to taste the jam on… We’ll be generating enough heat and steam that we probably won’t have to run the wood stove all week!
The house/kitchen is going to smell GOOD!!!
This week end and next week (and a couple of days into Thanksgiving week) is Deer Season (gun) around here. So far we have bow hunters on the place (mostly in the woods) this week, and Saturday we have at least 3 gun hunters for opening weekend. (Two of them drive all the way from upstate NY to hunt here!!!) I’d be out with them, but I didn’t have enough time to practice this year, and I’d not want to stick an arrow in a deer that would not be a clean kill.
Then week two if I have time I’ll be out – probably taking a nap in a wind-sheltered spot in the Sun. Since I usually take a book with me, I don’t often see deer, but that’s okay. This year I might actually get serious about the whole thing, given current economic conditions and what I’m expecting for the economy to do in the future (near and far). In any case, the deer have a pretty fair chance of avoiding me since they can hear me a lot better than I can hear them. I expect that they usually hear me snoring out there in that warm Sun …
And deer are a lot smarter than many folks credit them for. One year I was out looking for an escaped ewe (we had a small flock of sheep then) and saw a deer ahead of me in a meadow. It went down into a gully, so I eased over to the edge of the gully and stood behind a big tree and waited. Sure enough – the deer came right down the gully trying to circle around me, and as it went by where I was standing it went down on its knees and crawled by my location. Then it quietly got up and walked on down the draw. I found it hugely amusing!
And of course, I still have trees to fell, and wood to split and stack for next winter (13/14). I’m a little behind on that little chore. I try to lay in at least 3 cords a year unless I have left-overs from the year before. Last year I only had to do-up about 1.5 cords as we only used half of what we used the year before. Gotta love a warm winter… to a point. The down side of warm winters is nasty bugs and growths don’t get killed-off by the cold. But the guineas and the chickens are out there as I write this working on the ground-wintering bugs. And if we have quail now – then the tick population should be a LOT smaller next year.
So… things are moving along in their proper seasons. I’m posting less tho – since I’m busier this time of year. Now, Summer – that’s when the lazy days happen… I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it…