Three years in a row, this does not look good for me! Three years that I have had every aspiration for a beautiful fall garden and three years that I have failed to produce on such goals. The first year I had a legitimate excuse. Coming down with pneumonia in the middle of July was not part of my plans. Yes, I had medical grounds, yet I am pretty sure my real problem is related to August. It's just.too.darn.hot!! Who wants to think about clearing beds and planting seeds when it is 100+ every day? And what would my water bill look like if I did?
The end of October is closing in and I believe it is time to come out of hibernation. Time to clean out the withering cantaloupe vines. Time to tame the tomatoes. Maybe I can sneak in some cool season veggies and not be too late. And maybe this will be the year that I actually get a winter cover crop of hairy vetch planted?
I was quite proud of myself for planting lettuce transplants in mid-September. Note to self, do not plant when vacation is planned in the near future. The kids and I left on a Lewis and Clark field trip on the way to my cousin's wedding. We left Matt at home to hold down the fort for a week. He discovered that our little homestead is a lot for one person to manage as he was outnumbered by creatures 15 to 1. Unfortunate for my lettuce, the chickens had free range (despite the new electric fence that was supposed to have been turned on while we were gone), including the garden. We discovered this week that the chickens have a discerning palate. I was thrilled that of the lettuce the chickens left standing, there was enough to harvest. Much to my great disappointment, I discovered that what the chickens left for us were the bitter varieties! Oh chickies, how I do consider renaming you Dinner!!
In happier news, the chickens did redeem themselves this past week. Our chicks began laying! The kids are beyond excited and stalking the coop all day long just waiting for their chance to retrieve a blue/green egg! Three of the chicks are of the Easter egg variety and lay the prettiest eggs ever.
And in the top 10 of news I never in my life imagined reporting, it appears that our rooster is no rooster. It still makes me laugh that I am raising chickens! So not what was EVER in my life goals. When we ordered our chicks, we ordered 8 hens and 1 rooster. We lost one baby chick and either that was our rooster or we had all hens. Big Ben, the one we thought was the rooster, needs a new name after we found "him" hiding under a tomato plant with a stash of eggs.