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October 2020

The month began with a final harvest. The corn needed to be picked and since our field is small this was done by hand mostly by Kevin and Rollie. They would pick a row and then Kevin would mow down the stalks before they would move on to the next.

Rollie had these strap on tools that made opening up the husks easier so they picked and husked at the same time. You think he's done this a time or two before?

The corn is now drying and we will be grinding cornmeal soon.

Kevin and I took a couple of short day trips. On the way to Duluth on the 6th we saw moose crossing a field and pulled over to watch for a few minutes. Although the photo is not really clear since I have enlarged it, we could see the moose very well as it ambled along. It was definitely a thrill! Another moose was seen by Kevin's aunt by her home - just a few miles from ours - same one? Hard to say but they do travel I guess.

On the 8th we took another little trip to Itasca County and the Chippewa National Forest. I had wanted to visit the "Lost 40" ever since I heard of it. It is 40 acres of forest that was mis-marked on the maps back in the day so it was never logged. The white and red pines are enormous in both girth and height. I enjoy just looking at them, and took a lot of pictures that look like this:

We (of course) took pictures of each other:

And I had to give a few hugs. I love trees!

Kevin loves trees too - he walked around trying to figure out how many board feet of lumber must in in one of them or how many cords of firewood. The math must have been mentally exhausting!

It was a beautiful day for a drive and we enjoyed the fall colors. I especially enjoy the tamaracks.

As those of you who are Minnesotans know, we have had some cold weather and snow already- seems a bit early this year. I was caught with bags of garlic to plant and frozen ground. We chiseled out a couple of rows on the eighteenth, chopping away an inch of frozen soil to make the rows. The soil thawed during the week but we didn't have time to plant and snow was coming so we covered up most of the bed with a tarp. That helped a lot and this last Saturday I got the rest planted with help from Rollie and Kevin.

Glad that job is done!

Another fall task is paring down the flock. The two young toms and 10 cockerels have been caught and are now incarcerated in the summer coop. Their date with the butcher is still a couple of weeks away but there is plenty of room for them in there so they are pretty comfortable. Hard to believe these big birds just hatched this spring!

And that is October in a nutshell. I will close with an updated view from the milking stand. That is Birch there in the foreground - he will be joining Echo and Poppy pretty soon for a little goat romance. More on that next time!

Until next time, be well friends!

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