Heading out of summer and into fall has brought many garden harvests and plans for winter. This will be our 3rd winter in Idaho. Our first winter was spent on our rented homestead, this will be our 2nd winter on our current homestead. One of the many things we learned last winter was - you can never have too much hay! And in fact, we had too little. This year we've already got 9 tons of hay stored up. This is to avoid the stress we experienced last year with too little, and also we want to be sure we get enough hay before it's gone. We've heard worrisome rumblings here & there that we (the U.S) are going to be experiencing a hay shortage this year. That's a scary thing. Even our local farmer, whom we buy our hay from, is already out! Last year he had hay for sale all the way through February!
Here he is delivering a 3 ton load of hay for us.
And here is another 3 tons....
Once he gets his awesome, handy tractor unloaded he always lets the children climb like bugs all over it. :)
Another end of season activity- potato harvesting! Here is a little potato harvester now:
Posing with the 10 pounds they dug up for me this day for canning. I find 10 pounds is just about right to fill 7 quart jars.
A different day's harvest... Here Littlest Farmgirl is helping me wash the dirt off in our milk pails before bringing them in the house for dinner. Notice big dog nose in the corner.
The green hills and valleys sure do go brown fast! Here's our new little Highlander calf in with the sheep. They day he was delivered I (being home alone that day with only my youngest 5 children) discovered that, inconveniently (!) the calf was so small he could walk right through all our cattle fences! Imagine the sorrow I felt at having to admit to my husband upon his coming home after dark that night that I had lost our new calf! We both searched around the land for him with flashlights, but he seemed long gone. I was afraid he had hiked down the road in the direction he came from to find his mother. And assumed he'd get carted off by coyotes whilst on his travels. But! The next morning, there he was right with our other cows again. Whew.
We decided to put him in with the sheep for now, since they're fencing keeps them in and he's about their size. Well, that lasted about one day. He determined that he didn't really fancy being a sheep and so broke right through the barbed wire fencing to go back to our other cows. "Okay, fine!" my husband and I sighed, "You can stay with the other cows, just please stay WITH them and don't continue your habit of walking through our fences!" Since then things have calmed down. Though he could wander out of the pastures at any time, he seems content to stay right where all the big cows are.
While cleaning out beneath some rabbit hutches, Farmgirl discovered gigantic worms!
Our carrot harvest this year was huge! This was me one evening, scrubbing, chopping, shredding, and freezing one batch. Every now and then I'd come across one like this. Some sneaky creature out there is filling their fat bellies for the winter with our carrots! Look at all the munching and crunching of little teeth:
My husband's mighty garlic.
Last but not least, fall brings many birthdays to our family. Our very goofy and smiley 3 year old became Mr. Four year old! As you can see, our sugar-avoiding family does partake heartily in sugars for birthdays. This silly picture is the one I have saved on my phone's lock screen at the moment. It's one of my favorites- his silly face! This is totally his personality.
And! Littlest Farmgirl turned 2! We celebrated with lots of pink, and lots of baby dolls. :) LOVE!