Seasons at Procter Farm

  (London, Ohio)
Procter Farm
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Seasons End

Right before Thanksgiving I finished "putting the farm to bed" as cleaning up the fields and storing seasonal equiptment is often called. Half of the leeks have been donated and the other half are safely stored in the root cellar, layered between leaves. The same goes for beets and carrots. Layering between leaves is a winter storage technique I learned from a class at the OEFFA conference back in February. Now, with any luck, we will have vegetables well into the winter, if not spring.

Other changes have occured due to the impending cold weather. The chickens have moved into a renovated section of the corn crib, where they will be more protected from wind and snow. They still spend most of the daylight hours outside but meander inside thier well-lit coop to eat and lay eggs. Though I anticipated them enjoying their larger space and additional roost bars, they actually don't pay much attention to them, prefering instead, to sleep in one of the corners on the pine shavings that cover their floor. In addition to a larger coop area, they have an automatic door opener/closer that is set to open at the crack of dawn and close once the sun sets, keeping them safe and warm inside the coop. Because this space is so much darker than their red mobile coop they have an automatic timer which turns on lights when the door opens and then shut off when the sun begins to set - but not after sunset!- because they will stumble around in the dark. I must say, the chickens are moving up in the world - bigger house, fancy electric gagets, pine shaving floor... what more could they ask for!?

Chickens Outdoors

 

happy birds

 

laying eggs

 
 

1,000 lbs of Winter Squash...and counting

The high heat of mid-summer and the rapid cooling of the days as August got into full swing has caused a number of crops to behave as though fall is already here, and I guess, according to the weather, it is!

One of these crops is winter squash. When their leaves begin to die back and expose the crop to direct sunlight it is time to harvest, ripe or not. Partially ripe squash will continue to ripen in storage, like tomatoes and a process called cureing helps the squash develop a sweeter, more complex flavor.

 

Spagetti Squash

Butternut Squash

Delicata Squash: you can eat the entire squash after it has been broiled, even the skin! (that is why they are called delicata)

Baby Bear Sugar Pumpkins: great for pies and soups

Charisma Carving Pumpkins

 
 
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