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Fall came knocking while we were gone

Squash blossom

I'm always astonished by how much the farm can change in just a few days. 

Mature crookneck squash

The year of the cucurbit is suddenly at an end, with the butternuts nearly mature, the cucumbers blighted, and the summer squash I'd let go to seed turned orange and warty.

Pecked tomato

The chickens broke out of their pasture while we were gone (with some help from Lucy, whose boredom prompted her to gnaw a hole in their fence).  They didn't do much irrepairable damage, but did scratch half of our mulch into the aisles and pecked holes in lots of tomatoes.  Good thing I don't mind eating after chickens, once I cut out the damaged portion and boil the rest into soup for a good long time.

Old cabbage

Speaking of soup, despite the turn of seasons, we're still cooking up winter dinners like mad.  I cut into the last spring cabbage after peeling back four outer leaves gone thin and mildewed.  The inside was still crisp and delicious, and I wish I'd grown more.  Good thing the fall cabbages are already getting some size on them.

I can feel the pendulum begin to swing over to the fall garden.  We ate our first lettuce in months and the winter cooking greens now have true leaves.  Fall carrots have filled out enough to shade most of their beds, and oilseed radishes are coating fallow garden spots.  In the woods, dog-day cicadas are dropping to the ground while katydids take their place.  Here's hoping we'll enjoy this early fall for a long time rather than seeing a premature killing frost.

Our chicken waterer is perfect for chicks from day 1.


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