September 2022-Blog Catchup

Well, we finally got that bull where he’s supposed to be after he jumped the loading pen and broke two top boards and woven wire off the framing of the pen. I’m glad Eddie didn’t have a gun with us, or we may have had the freezer full faster!!! Then we moved the herd from Barker Hollow to the middle pasture, moved the 16 heifers and their calves to Barker Hollow and everyone is where they are supposed to be.
I canned the nine quarts of grape juice, and it is sooooo good. I’ll take it to the cellar tomorrow. We then went to Pearisburg to Farm Bureau Coop and picked up feed supplies for the chickens which should last until December. We went to Food Lion in Pearisburg today for groceries which I haven’t bought since May, spent $390!!! We had to go replenish chicken feed and corn for cattle and decided to get stocked up in the kitchen.
Fixed us a light supper of salad with chicken on top and washed up the dishes. We’ll rest the rest of the evening and start a new project tomorrow which will be extra framing protection for the greenhouse.

We pulled off corn this morning, shucked, silked and froze six quarts. Our corn season is just about over except for the popcorn, and we’ll pull and shuck it right before it frosts. Eddie pulled another bag of beets this morning, cleaned and put them in the garage refrigerator until I have enough to make one more batch of pickled beets. We don’t care for butter beets but love them pickled and when we eat a jar of them, I save the juice because Eddie loves pickled eggs. He brought in another basket of plum tomatoes and hopefully by next week I’ll have enough good and ripe for a batch of spaghetti sauce. We only have peppers left to process and they’ll all be stripped or diced and froze for the winter meals. We need to cut the rest of the corn stalks that are passed their prime and feed them to the cows. Nothing is wasted!!
Our yards need to be mowed again but at the moment (11:00a.m.) the grass is still very wet due to the heavy dew we have every morning. It was 50* this morning but warming toward 80’s.
I went through all of my saved/leftover seeds last night and entered that in my greenhouse journal. I won’t have to buy much at all next spring in the way of seed. I have plenty of pots and trays and the only big purchase I will have will be the ProMix. I hope to buy it this fall before the price goes up again in the spring. I used seven three-liter bales of it this year at $48 a bale, biggest expense I have with the greenhouse.

Squirrel season opened today and Eddie left for the woods at 7:00. I laid in bed for another ½ hour and then got up, dressed, and fixed Sadie’s breakfast, let the ducks out and the chickens. Fixed breakfast of turkey biscuits and waiting on him to come in for breakfast.
Bear hunters are chasing on the mountain. A little foggy this morning but 56* and I love fall mornings even though it’s not officially fall yet. Four hummingbirds are still hanging on but the other 15+ have left, the leaves are starting to fall, the katydids are screaming and every morning the grass is so wet you would thing we had a heavy rain during the night.
Eddie plans to put the haybine away for the winter today and we’re going to pick fall apples. We only picked four crates and the rain moved in. We’ve stored them in the mansion.

It’s been rainy and cool here the last three days and love the cooler weather. It has also hopped up our winter prep schedule. Today has been rain free and the sun comes and goes but 76* we can live with. We’ve just come back from riding back through the woods all over the farm and seeing what roads need to be cleaned out for safe riding. Eddie and I went were also looking for tanglefoot and chicken-of-the-woods mushrooms. Carol is coming on Tuesday, and she wants to go foraging. I at least have some good places to go look for them.
The garden is just about gone. I have pickled beets to work on tomorrow, fried pies to make from apples we picked yesterday and potatoes to dig when the ground dries enough. Pizza (9 pints) and spaghetti (8 pints) sauces are canned, and I have one bigger batch of San Marzano plum tomatoes to work up and will probably be tomato sauce.
I visited Dean at Merryfield and took him to lunch on the 4th and got back before the rain got started good. I dropped off several boxes of books to a friend, Debbie Bostic Myers before I headed to Covington. I stopped by Aunt Opals on the way home and visited for a few minutes. She gave me a book about life in Paint Bank (where she and I were raised) she helped write, edit and publish for the historical society. I dropped off a quart jar of Shawn’s honey at her house for my cousin Roger and his wife Sharon. I’m supposed to go back to see Aunt Opal in the near future for more information on the Bradley/Rose family.
We labored on Labor Day on minor things. Eddie went to Salem the next day and bought home a big load of bread for the animals and us. I love the new craft breads and we use it for gravy “biscuits”, French toast and when we have pasta meals. We also repaired fences damaged by deer and blown down trees and limbs. On Thursday we put fence around all of the haybale areas and they’re ready for when we put the cattle on the hayfields. We’ve also decided we’re going to do some temporary fencing in the big hayfield across the road, so they won’t waste so much of the grass. We’ll start on that early next week, probably on Wednesday. It has rained the last three days and so far for the month we have three inches.
Queen Elizabeth II died this week and I’m so glad I binge watched her movie a couple months back.
Our grandson, Declan, started first grade on Thursday and the first two days were half days.
During the rainy days I’ve been cleaning out closets and bookshelves but still have a long way to go. I’ve run out of boxes for the books. I’m sending them home with Carol on Tuesday. I have to stop and take the time to come up with a menu for lunch that day.
I’ve also found a brand-new recipe for “Morning Glory Muffins” which are divine. They have raisins, pecans, cocoanut, shredded carrots and shredded apples in them. They are a wonderful addition to my recipe box!!! I’ll put them on the “new” blog when it’s setup.

09/14/2022 thru 09/30/2022
My very special friend and former coworker at VT, Carol Trutt came to visit, and we had such a wonderful time together. We went foraging for Chicken of the Woods but found none. Carol comes to spend the day when she needs to get away from the rat race of Christiansburg and join our little piece of heaven in the country.
Eddie and I took a run to Pearisburg because my computer monitor died and now, I’m catching up on all of our adventures from home. Fall has arrived early, and we have had a couple fires in the woodstove due to temps in the 30’s and 40’s in the mornings. It had been chilly and not sure if it’s going to continue.
We’ve picked 12 crates of apples for the animals and us and we stored them in the mansion where they’ll stay cool and not freeze if the weather gets really cold.
We’ve also been moving different herds of cattle to longer pasture and trying to fatten up the spring calves for fall marketing. Grass is short and since we’re 200 bales short on our hay we don’t want to start feeding until at least mid to late November. We’ve sectioned off some pasture in the big field across the road but it only lasted about two weeks, so we opened up the entire field. Hoping it will last through October. We combined the young cows with the oldest herd to make the pasture last for all of them and the herd is around 35 including the heifer calves and the older cows will start calving the 27th of September. As of this writing, four have calved with one cow having twins and both calves were born dead. Not a good start to fall calving. We have eight more including a heifer from the young herd yet to calve.
Fence building was done in the big hay field for temporary pasture and Heather helped us put it up and it only took about two hours to complete. Eddie and I removed it 10 days later to open up the field. The long field and L field will be opened when this runs out but hoping the calves will go to market before that happens.
A new friend, Linda Fisher-Martin came to spend the night with us. The house she rents in Franklin County has a well that has gone dry and her landlord doesn’t expect to have any water for her until mid-October. We had a good visit while she was here, and she promises to come back.
We got our potatoes dug and harvested 15 five-gallon buckets full. They’re not the best crop we’ve had but considering the weather this past summer we were lucky to get what we did. It’ll be more than enough for our family.
On September 18, we took a train ride with our daughter and son-in-law from Staunton to Goshen VA. We had a wonderful ride and great meal on the train. It was quality time spent with the kids and good to get away from the farm for a day. Train station photo is at beginning of this post.

We’ve been checking on the bass and catfish ponds pretty frequently and happy with the results. We just hope we don’t have any poachers. We’re taking the fish bread and fish food on a weekly basis and now they look for us to bring them food.

Author: ritascountryways2022

I'm just a country girl living life my way on a farm with my husband and our critters. We've been married fifty years and been farming all of that time. We've moved from one family farm to one of our own and then to another family farm that has been in the family through at least six generations. In this day and age we could not have picked a better life!

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