I have been unable to load the photos to the computer from the camera. No amount of fiddling would fix it. The photos this week are from last week, same week as the last blog posting.
Winter gets closer each week. We have been very busy this week on several fronts. We are working to get the garlic planting finished; we are doing repairs to the laneway to make it more passable; we are bringing up firewood to the wood shed, cutting and splitting as well; we are doing several other things to prepare for winter and as well are doing maintenance on dwellings and equipment.
The laneway has been a big concern as it becomes unusable when the late wet fall comes. We scooped out all the mud down to a solid base at the end of the lane at the road and Aerron has been bring up large stones placing them tightly together and spreading some fine gravel and crumbled asphalt mix over top of them. This is a slow process requiring hard work because the heavy stones are brought some distance in a wheel barrow. We hope to at least get the end finished and a short portion further along the lane before the ground freezes.
We have nearly finished planting the garlic. We now have seven beds mostly planted; three rows per bed each bed just over 100 feet long, about 30 metres. There are nine varieties of garlic in the ground and three more to go. There is a short bit, about 10 feet at the end of three beds that will be planted with these three varieties even though there are not a lot of them.
The jumbled pile of fire wood alongside the lane way has been noticeably reduced as we have moved a good portion of the oldest, the most seasoned wood, to the woodshed where we cut it again if need be, into stove lengths and do what splitting is needed. We split with axe, maul and wedges and cut with a gas chainsaw at the outside wood pile, an electric chainsaw in the woodshed and with a ten inch table saw for those smaller pieces; less than about three inches diameter and reasonably straight.
The poultry and livestock are faring well though the lay rate for our chickens and ducks has dramatically fallen off. There are several reasons for the drop off. We had a problem earlier this fall with the timing of the lights the poultry need for at least 14 hours of light each day to promote laying. Falling light levels will induce a hormonal change in the hens that starts to shut down the egg production. Our hens are also older, and as the hens age the egg production is going to fall off and finally many of our hens are of a breed that typically will not be a good winter layer. We will struggle through the winter to keep the egg lay rate up but it will return to more normal levels with spring, with warmth, more daylight, and fresh vegetation. Even the older hens will once more lay well … like ‘Spring Chickens’.