Spring and summer put rural living in high gear for me. The happenings depend on my fall routines.
There are the goat kids being born, growing up and being sold. Chicks are ordered, arrive, grow up and are sold or moved into the hen house.
Seeds are ordered, seedlings started, garden planted. Wildlife depredations and harvesting take up the summer.
Suddenly it’s over. Fall routines take over.
Spring kids don’t just happen. Goats have a five month gestation. The does are bred in the fall, preferably in October for March kids. (More goat facts and trivia are in “Goat Games“.)
Killing frost hasn’t been by yet this fall. Still, the deer eliminated so much of the garden, I’m closing it down.
All of the vines and plants from summer crops must be pulled up and carted off to the compost heap. The various cages are cleaned off, stacked and stored in the chick house for the winter, after the house is cleaned out thoroughly.
I’ve been reading “The Worst Hard Times” about the Dust Bowl survivors. People want to blame the drought for the disaster. In truth, people were the cause because the stripped the land of its grass leaving it open to the drought and high winds.
My garden isn’t on that scale, but the lessons about not leaving the ground uncovered matter here too. I cover the beds with cardboard and mulch.
This serves three purposes. One is covering the dirt to prevent erosion. A second is to kill out the weeds, mostly dead nettle and chickweed, growing in the beds. The third gets back to another of the fall routines: keeping the old bedding cleaned out of the goat barn.
Goats are messy eaters. As I am now feeding grass hay, more than usual is landing on the barn floor. Every week I cart out loads of this damp manure-filled hay and move it onto the garden. It means a lot less work cleaning out the barn in the spring and good fertilizer on the garden.