Beautiful fall weather here after much rain. We're happy to have 9 more piglets here at the farm, as Fern finally had her fall litter yesterday. The mud has kept me from the garden lately, but now it's been so much fun to see all the gourds that have matured. We didn't plant them from seed, but bought some assorted gourd starters from a local greenhouse, so I loved seeing what came of the beautiful yellow and white blooms that appeared on the vines earlier this growing season. Warty little gourds, smooth colorful ones the shape of pumpkins, and big birdhouse gourds in various colors. We grew pumpkins too. Our winter squash did very well this year, and there are bushels of acorn, spaghetti, sweet dumpling, and butternut squash at the stand, along with some Hubbard and Giant Pink Bananas as well. Although there is lees produce filling up the table since we've been hit by our first frost, the floor and benches are overflowing with our fall harvest!
Although I've been fighting a bit of a fall cold, it was so nice to be outside Friday gathering corn stalks to gather into decorative shocks. Although the strawberry popcorn I planted didn't pan out as I hoped, I'll try again next year and this year be thankful for the deep red stalks I harvested. Although we do so much by hand and by horse, there is something gratifying about putting together these decorative bundles. I harvest them simply; with a machete in hand, I chop the base while I hold the stalk, trying to keep the tassel upright. I carry them down to the shed and tie what seems to be the right number together with bailer twine. Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine for very personal reasons, so I love decorating for fall. I love being able to offer these fun treats for my customers as well.
Another fall staple here at he farm is lamb. We've sold out of most of the cuts from earlier this year, so it's time to send a few more for processing. It was a great day to saddle up Sara and bring the flock down to the barn. She seemed to remember how this went last time, and surprisingly so did the sheep. It was a short ride because it went so flawlessly.