Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Day in NH

 It's my favorite time of the year-Fall in NH. To me,Fall is the quintessential New England season. The leaves turn color,the air turns chilly, pumpkins and apples are ready for picking,and we keep trying to put off starting the wood stove for as long as possible. Gray days are lantern lighting days,and I have to have Pumpkin Spice candles going to make the house smell fabulous and help make it cozy.

The weather this past week has not been the best-we have had rain and overcast days,with just a few glimpses of sun in between. Saturday we took a chance,since the forecast said the rain was going to hold off until later in the day,and we drove up to Fryeburg,ME for the annual Fryeburg Fair. We love the Fryeburg Fair because it's mostly an agricultural fair.  We looked at the goats,sheep,poultry,oxen,horses,and cows. I fell even more in love with goats and sheep. We are trying to decide if we want to get some dairy goats,and perhaps a sheep or two. The sheep would be for making yarn. It's amazing at how thick their wool is-they felt like one of those tempurpedic mattresses! The Fiber Barn was very interesting-knitted goods,yarn skeins,and bulk wool were for sale,and ladies were demonstrating how to spin your own yarn. I wanted to buy a  homemade skein of yarn-until I saw that all the skeins were 4 oz and cost $26. That's a tad out of my price range. In the Specialty Food barn,Zach's eagle eye found Moxie Jelly. Moxie is a New England soda that has been around for about a hundred years. It's not sweet,and it's called Moxie because you have to have moxie to drink it! Zach loves Moxie,and we have never seen Moxie jelly,so of course we had to buy a couple of jars. I got some potpourri -Maine Christmas and Pumpkin Fall. They smell fabulous!

Sunday the weather was slightly overcast,but no rain hit until last night,so I puttered around the yard for while checking things out. I still haven't closed up my garden because  things are still growing and we haven't had a hard frost yet,though I know we are due for one anytime.  I have been paying attention to the weather forecast daily.

Since we gave our apple tree quite the trimming last Spring,we figured that we probably shocked the tree and we wouldn't get many apples,if any,this year. Last year we had over 60. This year,we did squeak out two:

Poor lonely apples! Our apple tree has dropped the majority of their leaves. The wind has helped the all the trees around us shed their leaves.Up Avon Lane,it looked almost like carpet:

Our grapes have been coming along. I have been tasting them every other day to see when they are ready to pick. I wasn't sure how to tell when they were ready,but everything I have read says it's all in how the taste.They are not quite sweet yet,but they are getting there:

I was surprised to still see white blossoms in my strawberry patch. There are still strawberries in various states of  growth. I will have to cover them up soon:

This is one of my favorite maple trees. Each year,this branch starts turning color in such a brilliant way-light green,to yellow,to orange,to red. It's like a foliage rainbow! I can see it from my bedroom window. I wish the sun was shining so that you could really see how bright and lovely it is:

One of our goals to is try and get our chicken yard to the point where it drains better. Whenever it rains,it becomes a muddy mess,and it REEKS until it dries out. Plus,the poor Girls are walking around in muck. Chicken poo that is wet smells even worse than dry poop. It's horrible. It makes me gag,and we are mindful that we have a responsibility to our neighbors to keep the area as stink free as possible.We are going to try some gravel mix to cover it. Anyone have any other suggestions?
 We still have tomatoes growing,though you can't seem too well in this photo,because they are green. I will probably have to pick them and make fried green tomatoes before the frost hits:

You can see in this photo how we have lost leaves from our trees. The foliage still isn't at it's peak here,but up in the Great North Woods,it's already past:

Our potatoes are still going strong,though some of the plants are seeing a bit of brown on their edges. I wasn't sure when to pick potatoes,because last year,Brother B picked them before they were ready ( our neighbor told him to pick them in Sept-too early!) Usually they are picked in Oct,when the plants are dead. I did decide to check around the hills to see if anything was ready to pick,however:

I came up with these taters!! These are Kennebec potatoes from Maine. I also had some green beans that were ready to pick,too.

Today we are going apple picking and pumpkin picking. Our favorite farm,Butternut,is closed for the season,but another local farm is still open so we will be going there. I am still bummed that my pumpkin seedlings did NOTHING this year. Sigh. I hate to have to buy pumpkins,but I have to get some sugar ones to make my puree,as well bigger ones for decoration. Our neighbor can get hay bales for only $2.00 a bale from a friend of hers,so that will be savings!

Have a fabulous day on this Fabulous Planet!


  1. Your solution to the chicken yard is all around you. I put about a foot of leaves in my chicken yard. The hens love to scratch it, looking for bugs or just for the fun of it. Eventually, they will break it all down. Just put more on top. I also use pine straw (pine needles) and they enjoy those, too. Use diomateceous earth, food grade, not garden grade to take away the stench. In the summer, it keeps down the flies.

    You can put the diotamaceous dirt in their food to help keep them healthy. Look it up. Get it at a feed store.

    I also have a tarp over half their yard. That keeps some of the wetness away, but not enough not to need the leaves and pine straw.

    I disovered that my yard has a slight slope towards the chickens' pen. I put bricks against that side of the pen and some dirt. It really helps.

  2. I had thought of leaves,but wasn't sure how well it would work. Thank you for the great advice!

  3. Oh I can imagine myself in New England right now! I have wanted to visit your neck of the woods for many years. It's on my some day list lol In our house there is no practical place to put a wood stove but that would be so nice and cozy here! I love the cozy feel when you smell the wood burning. Good luck with your chicken solutions. If I had them I would offer my two cents but they are not allowed in town here :( That's ok there are plenty of other things I can do :) I have pumpkin scents going here too ahhh fall I absolutely love it! Hugs :)