Common Sense Home Good News Letter 9/3/23

“September dawned as a golden month. Sunflowers planted by wild birds romped around the edges of the gardens; while wild goldenrod, primrose, sowthistle, and butter-and-eggs painted bold swaths through the uncultivated areas. Here and there in the gardens, calendula and black-eyed Susans punctuated the crazy quilt garden beds. The trees and shrubs were ornamented with patches of amber, flax, and auburn, and the late summer apples swelled and blushed, ready for harvest.” – Laurie Neverman, September 2023

It feels like Mother Nature forgot that fall is on the way today, the temperature is around 90F (our average for this time of year is 76). The plants know what’s coming, though, as does the wildlife.

The skies have been filled with migrating birds, and pockets of color are popping up on the trees and shrubs.

While some parts of the gardens are still chugging along, others are fading, wrapping up the season. Our first fall frost typically comes around the end of September, so this is the busiest part of the harvest season as we gather everything before the chill moves in.

There was a bumper crop of pears and apples this year, so we’re trying out some new recipes. I was really impressed by the lack of pests on some of the apples.

Like most orchards, we have some trouble with worms and other pests. Usually we trim around the damage or use some of the foliar sprays from The Organic Apple Grower book, or both. This year so much time was taken up with watering during the drought conditions that the sprays never happened.

I don’t know if it’s the dry conditions, the mulch, the feeding, the ducks and chickens providing pest control, the biodiversity and general health of the land, or something else, but several of the apple trees have nearly blemish free fruit. Others still have some damage, so I can’t offer “one cool trick” to share with you, but we’re keeping watch and taking notes. I’ll share updates either on the site or in future newsletters.

The guys have started sheathing the new outbuilding. It’s slow going because August’s regular work schedule has been pretty hectic, but they are making progress. We need to have it buttoned up before winter so there’s more room for the flocks in the original outbuilding.

During the summer, the meat birds take over the main coop, and the laying hens move out to portable coops around the land (including in the orchard). The duck patrol is in the other part of the building. In winter, after the meat birds are gone, the hens move back to the main coop.

With the extra members of the duck patrol hatching this year, the duck area is getting quite full. It’s not bad now when they spend most of their time outside, but with limited daylight and more time stuck indoors, they need more space.

After the sheathing is done, we’ll need to round up some friends for the truss raising, which should be interesting. Wish us luck!

All our best to you and yours,

Laurie, and August IV, August V, and Duncan

This week’s featured articles…

This is a fun new recipe I tried out to use up some of the apple and pear bounty – ​carrot cake jam​.

Calling all the adventurous eaters… Fall is a great time to harvest burdock roots (also known as gobo root). They are good in soups and stews and stir fries. ​Learn how to identify and forage for burdock here.​

Fall is a good time to watch for sales as the harvest comes in. In this article, we share ​how to store rice long term​. Note – white rice and wild rice store better than brown rice or colored rice.

The Ant People…

I found this story/connection interesting, and I hope you do, too.

A while back, we were watching the Ancient Apocalypse series with Graham Hancock. During the series, Mr. Hancock discussed vast underground dwellings in Turkey that may date back over ten thousand years to a global cataclysm.

It appears that these dwelling were sheltered in for a very long time, which begs the question (at least to me), “How did they feed themselves?”

Food stores only last so long, and geological records indicate that whatever happened (I’ve read a number of books about this time period, too), the impact lasted for many years, and left scorched earth over much of the planet, followed by ice ages. (It’s possible to grow healthy plants without light, but that’s a story for another time.)

On the opposite side of the planet, the Hopi Indians in the high desert of Arizona have a legend about the Ant People. As the legend goes, the Ant People rescued the Hopi twice, when the world was destroyed by fire, and again when the world was destroyed by ice. They shared food, and taught the Hopi how to grow and store food.

The Hopi word for “ant” is also anu, and the Hopi root word naki means “friends.” Thus, the Hopi Anu-naki, or “ant friends,” may have been the same as the Sumerian Annunaki.

Small world indeed…

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