Fall is in full swing around here and very, very busy. In fact, I think this is the busiest fall I've ever remembered. There is so much to do around here that I don't know where to begin each day. I'm really looking forward to some cold winter evenings to just sit, knit and relax, that's for sure!
We had our first Homeschool Tour here on Friday the 14th. We had about 35 homeschoolers from Franklin county, including parents come to tour. I started in the courtyard with a history of the farm, explanation of why we are farming here and then focused on everyone having a job and went around the farm showing the different jobs of all the farm animals. We had a spinning demonstration showing the use of the fiber from the animals and all we've done with dyeing. It was a lot of fun and from the comments received the children learned alot. We also added a house tour for many who wanted to see the inside of the house and then most stayed for lunch in the backyard while we did crafts with the children. Olivia taught felted soap and I helped them make bees wax candles. Many purchased honey, chicken and eggs so it was very profitable.
With the woodstove in we are now hauling, loading, unloading and chopping wood. The trench connecting the stove to the house is almost filled in. David layed a pipe on top of it to eventually put an electrical line out there so we have a light between the stove and the garden. That'll come in handy since I'm putting in a winter garden. I'll probably need a light out there to pick in the afternoon once it gets dark early! I put in more spinach, lettuce and onions yesterday. I'm still picking tomatoes, peppers, swiss chard, lettuce and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoe crop is surprisingly wonderful - great big potatoes I'm baking and freezing for easy heat-up during the winter. I pulled up my first two peanut plants yesterday and found a good-size handfull of peanuts. How exciting. Now I got to find out how long to dry them.
Thursday was finally walnut opening day. We were disappointed to find many rotted sitting in buckets for a couple of weeks. I guess you have to open them and dry them as soon as they fall from the tree. We waited until we had about 8 bushels. So we lost alot of the nuts and the rest were a mess to peel. We drove the car over them and then hand-peeled the outer shell. I went through three pairs of gloves and still stained my hands miserably. Didn't have the heart to save any shells for dyeing wool. We'll do that another time. My hands and back were so sore from bending, picking, and all. Now we're drying the ones peeled and hopefully will have some to eat! What an experiment. We still have more to go.
We are still picking a few chestnuts. We roasted a few to try them and they are delicious. Wish the tornadoe didn't take off half of the tree. We would have had so many more chestnuts to eat.
The new batch of chicks are growing and doing well. I try to feed them alot because I really need them to be ready to butcher at the beginning of November.
The llamas are so beautiful. We've been able to catch Lance to take off his halter but the others still don't trust us. i can't wait till they know us enough to catch, brush and walk each week. I don't like how stand-offish they are. They sure look beautiful in the pasture.
New idea. Have these wisteria vines taking over the yard that need to be cut. I found out that I can make wreaths and baskets from them! Now all I have to do is start harvesting those vines late autumn (now) until spring and dry them. They'll be so much fun to have and work with. I'm really excited about that.