Its almost 8 am….I slept in a bit. The horses are waiting to be fed. I’m having my coffee first before I go out. Louie is pacing up and down his fence line – we call it his “worry path”. Over the years he’s worn a trench along the fence. Whenever he gets nervous or excited or impatient, he paces back and forth… it’s his personality. Zip is standing in his stall, framed by the door opening, with a concentrated stare at the house. Patrick has his head between the fence rails, reaching through as far as he can to steal blades of grass from the back field. But I need my coffee. Once I go out there, I will be out there for awhile. Not for any other reason than that I like to be out there, so I stay.
The horses and Snoops are shedding out their thin summer coats and growing in thicker, longer hairs, prepping for the coming winter. Louie’s mane is back to growing in too. What he grows in each winter he rubs off in the summer…no matter. We’ve tried covering it, applying lotions, etc, but he still manages to rub his neck almost bare when it gets hot.
It seems that their winter coats are developing a little later than normal this year. Years past, I could feel their coats thickening in mid August. Maybe it’s because it’s been an oddly warm year. Probably is.
One of our newer hens appears to have enough testosterone to be a rooster! This thing has long legs, knobs on its shins that might be the start of spurs, and long sweeping tail and neck feathers. It hasn’t crowed yet…neither has it laid an egg. So Kath and I have a little bet going – she’s saying a hen, and I am saying a rooster. I keep making crowing sounds when it comes near as an encouragement. It looks back at me like I’m some sort of idiot. I keep telling it that Kath gets dinner if it’s a hen, and to think between the lines….
I seeded the areas between the strawberries with cover rye to hold the topsoil through winter, and as a green manure for spring. I am slowly taking down the summer garden so that I can do the same…seems it wasn’t too long ago that I was planting the seeds for these spent vegetable plants. It throws a little bit of melancholy over the whole process. I love the fall, but I really don’t like the growing season to end. I don’t like shorter days. But I will deal with it.
As always, I will leave plants for gleaning. It is traditional for me, when the summer csa ends, to let people who visit us to pick what is still growing. The persons who signed up for the fall csa have been enjoying these gleanings too. I like it when I can just give things away.
I hate to say it, but at the same time, there is a spoiled goat that can’t get enough arugula…and horses who love radish tops. Everybody here eats from the garden. It’s sorta cool how that works. It’s fair to say that Snoop’s mom and brothers and sisters are probably living in some Jersey swamp eating green briar while she dines for free on stuff that even President Obama has to buy at Whole Foods! She’s a lucky goat.
My garlic came last week, and when the soil dries enough that I can work it, I will plant them. I am trying three types of german garlic this year, along with my old standard, elephant ear. I’ve been growing elephant ear for years here, and use my own “seed” that I save from the summer’s harvest. Garlic, planted in the fall, is not ready for harvest until mid summer – here it’s a nine month plant. I have to be really careful where I plant it, because it will be there awhile.
I’d better get moving. I don’t think that the goat, horses, chickens (and rooster?), and ducks will stay patient too much longer. They don’t really care about my caffeine addiction…