Not to be brought down by the situation, #4 asked if we could give Spotty another try. Well, it's late in the season, and I wasn't really wanting to breed for a late September litter, but sure, why not. I didn't immediately re-breed, I thought I'd at least give her some time to recoup from delivery and maybe mourn for her lost litter. If rabbits mourn. Some of ours have clearly been distraught when they've lost a baby, while others don't seem to care at all. It's rough to lose a baby, but it's even worse to lose an entire litter.
It was one of those days where it was just wet enough outside to discourage you from getting any projects done, but just dry enough to make you want to get some yard work done. I caught Josh (our African gander) under the apple tree again this morning, ripping leaves and immature apples off the tree. He can be such a jerk, but he's so good at protecting the flock that I put up with his naughty behavior.
No goodies in the mail today. I did start a crochet project though. I'm going to try to make some kind of a triangle hair cover thing. Kind of a homesteader, nature hippy, boho feel to it. I never use a pattern (can't read them anyway), so I hope it turns out the way I visualize it. Time will tell. I still need to finish work on #2's bag too. I'm running out of time, but I'm still trying to figure out how to line a crochet yarn bag with fabric without using a needle and thread or a sewing machine to attach the fabric. I wonder if I could manage to sew it using yarn and a yarn needle to try to keep the outer appearance looking good. I have some old baby onesies stashed away that could be used for fabric for this project.
Late night rambling thoughts about where we're going with the farm next. I have more ideas than I have time and finances for. I remind myself daily to try to pace myself, but it's all so new and exciting. I've been dreaming of my very own farm since I was a child and the possibilities seem endless.
I know next spring I do want to try my hand at selling seedlings. I can winter sow my seeds, and when they're up and looking healthy, I can transplant them into cups and then sell them off to gardeners in the area. It's a thought, I'd like to make it a reality. It would be easier to do with a greenhouse, but I think I can manage on a small scale to see if it's even a viable market. There are greenhouses in the area here, and I don't want to come off as competition. I'd be offering weird varieties not likely to show up in a small town green house.
I want to get some of the Back To Eden style gardening spaces set up this fall before the snow flies so it has time to compost down a little before planting next year. We didn't do any in-ground gardening this year aside from a couple border gardens. This would also mean fencing off parts of the property to try to keep the birds out. The chickens can get into the rafters in the barn, so I'm not sure any amount of fencing would be practical to keep them out of the garden. Maybe electrical poultry netting. I will have to do more research.
I still need to plant the grapes and some berry bushes and shrubs yet, but Tony has been working solid and I don't have the ability to do it all myself. Especially not while refereeing kids all day. Some days they're sweet angels who help out and play nice. Other days I get nothing done for all the time I spend making sure they're not fighting or making messes every time I turn my back. They've got me outnumbered!
I also have all the apple and pear seedlings in little plastic cups in the entryway. The plan is to get a shelving unit and some plant lights and move them downstairs for the winter. It stays pretty consistently 65-degrees down there, so as long as I keep them watered and the lights on a 12 hour timer, we should be able to pull them through their first winter and transplant them in the spring to bigger containers. Depending how that goes, maybe we could even plant some here to start growing!
It's also time to consider last minute fall gardening. Do I still have time to plant cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, beans, peas, spinach, and lettuce? It might be worth a shot just to see if I can get some last minute crops out yet. I think I did the same thing last year and only got a handful of peas before the cold weather took the plants out. I never know when to plant a fall garden. Everywhere else plants much earlier in the spring and further into the fall. The season is short here, so for procrastinators like me, gardening can be a bit of an extra challenge. I will learn and adapt though.
I did notice the okra plants have little flowers forming, and the tiny watermelon plants in the buckets are covered in flowers. The okra might make it, but I'm pretty sure it's too late for melons to be starting.
Just for a giggle, here's a photo of one of the green bell peppers we got from the CSA yesterday. I drew the eyes on.