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Thursday, October 28, 2010

falling leaves and killing chickens

The nip in the wind and the bright red sun glare bright this morning. The maples release their leaves with a groan as the wind lifts them off and adds them to the swirling masses.

My favorite part of my mornings now is this beautiful wild turkey that follows around my turkey flock. I see her about once a day, just mulling around like she wants to join my heritage breeds that are begging me for their breakfast. She's really shy and will only let me get so close before she takes off in flight, which is actually quite impressive and she can soar easily through the fields or straight up into the woods. I hope she integrates and doesn't get too sad when Thanksgiving comes for the rest of her friends.

The morning feeding is quite humorous as I imagine anyone that drives by looking over to see this mass of white meat birds running as fast as their little fat legs can carry them, running through the field over to the chicken house for their morning meal. This morning I came out to a pile of pigs, cuddled together in the mud with a meat bird snuggled right on top of the pile. I always worry the pigs might want a chicken dinner, but so far they've cohabited quite nicely.

I have these swirling masses of meat birds and a pretty empty freezer because time always seems to be short as the days keep getting shorter and my whizbang chicken plucker still has yet to save me from hours of hand plucking all these birds. And I might only slightly be kicking myself but I'm happy at the same time at the overwhelming demand for these happy and delicious birds. Maybe next weekend I'll carve out a day and get everything taken care of.

The winter gardens are limping along with the shortening of days. The frost isn't really knocking the kale back much, but not enough sunlight is pretty apparent in our late planting of chard, kale and radishes as they're a month in the ground and only knee high to a grasshopper. I am super happy to see the pea flowers and the cosmos are in full wispy glory. I shelled the last of the shelling beans and I'm putting up a fence at my work garden to let the sheep graze on all the weed seed pods and remaining thistles still standing. Then in the spring, I'm going to put up a fence section where I want to plant up and put pigs in there to till up and eat the roots of the plants. This is my new master plan. We'll see how it actually pans out. I just know that I've got a couple of acres of dirt and I really want to use it the best that I can.

Well I'm off to get a book on tape and scrape out some of the ram poop from my backseat (I really, really need a truck) and load up for a long drive down to North Carolina for a weekend of wine, pirates, partying, and stuffing my head full of as much information as I can soak up. I love studying under an amazingly knowledgeable winemaker... and consequently drinking some amazing wine.