We arrived in Texas at the end of October.   We built temporary shelters for the sheep and goats, plus added a temporary shed to cover hay and other things we needed to store like grain bins and outdoor tools.   It has held up fairly well to the wind.   Rebuilding will be slow, getting utilities hooked up is a lot more expensive than expected, and I’ve already gotten a list started for the trailer on the next trip down to Texas.  Those still in Maine are doing well.

We’ll be building a chicken coop soon along with a run. A new sheep was exposed to a ram prior to purchase, so we may have our first birth starting in February.   The previous owner didn’t keep track, so it will be interesting. She was exposed October to December. We need to build a lambing jug with a protective overhang. There are a lot of hawks and owls around.  We’ve already had coyotoes up to the fence.  All the animals roam during the day but are locked up at night. Amy is glad to have company again.

The weather has sometimes rivaled Maine.  Snow is expected on Saturday with a low of 19. We’re not happy, but that’s the way life goes.  We’re hoping the tanks on the camper don’t freeze.  I’m wishing I brought my heated buckets, but without electricity they wouldn’t work anyhow.  That’s pretty much it for now.


End of the Season

The end of the growing season is always sad to me, but the slow down will be a nice break.  It has been busy.  I added another goat and began making cheese. I took a job with a 65 acre farm for the season and learned new strategies for growing vegetables naturally, how to run a farmer’s stand, and how to do CSAs.   Part of the perks were free veggies I wasn’t growing myself or had failed, plus I was given free hay for my dairy goats.

I also learned about programs I didn’t know about which helped seniors and others on a limited income, and I met many tourists and locals who had interesting French-Canadian recipes to share.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get them all written down. I was invited to come back next year to work and was offered space in the greenhouse to start my garden in the Spring.  I bought a small greenhouse, but I may take them up on the offer.  Their fields were hit by an unexpected frost, so the job came to an end 2 weeks earlier than planned.

In my own garden, the last of the broccoli, cabbage, celery and sweet peppers were harvested and beds cleaned; the cucumber, butternut squash and hot peppers will soon be joining them.  Perennial herbs and trees are dropping leaves and going to sleep.    The tomatoes and watermelons are still going strong despite the chill in the air.   I am thinking about constructing a PVC greenhouse cover for the tomatoes.  They are showing no signs of slowing, but frost is coming, and there are a lot of tomatoes that haven’t turned yet.  Unfortunately, we lost a chicken to a fox, so the rest of the girls are only out when supervised.  We are still trying to find land, and we are definitely interested in permaculture when we buy said land.

The Autumn chill and shorter hours have slowed milk and egg production, so sales are on a limited basis. The goats have started their heat cycling, and I have a buck lined up for a November breeding for the Alpine and Obers.  It’s time to do the fall clean-out of the barn, chicken coop and brooder.   The final grass cutting will happen on the next sunny day and then it is non-stop leaf raking until the trees are done getting naked.   Acorns are everywhere.  Fyi, they hurt when they fall 20 feet and hit you on the head.  The goats love them as treats, and I will be collecting them to try acorn flour for acorn cookies.

The time has flown by this year and soon I’ll need to start planning for next year.  The seasons of life and change are never-ending.