The Month of October (in brief) So Far

Well the leaves are finally turn­ing col­ors, even though the tem­per­a­ture is stay­ing warm. Mean­while, the gar­den con­tin­ues to pro­duce a impres­sive amount. Our toma­toes, sum­mer squash and cucum­bers may have long since been com­posted, but egg­plants and pep­pers are still going strong and we have more than enough beets, car­rots and turnips to go around. The last Carlisle Sum­mer Farmer’s Mar­ket is tomor­row, and Mom and I have been har­vest­ing all day.

Brus­sel sprouts, leeks, car­rots and beets

We also have tons of greens that are enjoy­ing to cooler weather: let­tuce, pak choy, kale, swiss chard, cab­bage, col­lard greens, arugula, the list goes on. In order to extend our greens sea­son, we bought a Quick Hoop High Tun­nel Ben­derfrom Johnny’s Selected Seeds web­site and erected a very rudi­men­tary hoop house.

Dave bolt­ing two bent pipes together
The first hoop

Basi­cally, the hoop house is just fence rails bent to the same curve and then bolted together to form a half cir­cle. They are then inserted into shorter, wider sec­tions of pipe that are ham­mered into the ground. One last rail along the top of the hoops pro­vides stability.

Next week we are plan­ning on installing the plas­tic over the top, which will then be lashed to the frame with para­chute cord. With this added cover, we are hop­ing to keep grow­ing greens well into the winter.

All the win­ter squash has been har­vested from the sec­ond field and put them into the green­house to dry and cure. Now that the sec­ond field has been com­pletely har­vested, we’re get­ting ready to till it next week. We’re plan­ning on expand­ing it out towards the pig a bit to give our­selves a bit more room for next year.
We went up to the Com­mon Ground Fair  in Unity, Maine a cou­ple weeks ago (a really good time for any­one inter­ested in local food, rural liv­ing and/or home­steading). The fair, aside from hav­ing craft and food tents as far as the eye can see, also includes a lot of work­shops. We took the oppor­tu­nity to learn a lit­tle bit more about sheep care and lamb­ing, and I bought a drop spin­dle so I could start prac­tic­ing spin­ning wool. It’s not easy.
Our five ewes are set­tling in nicely. In prepa­ra­tion for the ram that’s com­ing in the end of Novem­ber, we have plans to fence in the front pas­ture — and are in the midst of try­ing to find the cheap­est, eas­i­est and most effec­tive way to accom­plish this goal. We were cau­tioned not to try to keep a ram behind flimsy, tem­po­rary elec­tric fence, and any­way we need to cre­ate a per­ma­nent pas­ture for our preg­nant ewes to live in all win­ter (since the portable elec­tric fence is also too flimsy to stand up to snow).
The front pasture

Look for­ward to the thrilling con­clu­sion to this fenc­ing story in a cou­ple of weeks…

As well as an update on our pigs…
And my thoughts on how won­der­ful CSAs are…
All com­ing soon.
But until then…
Happy Fall!