Good Morning!

Good Monday!  

You may have noticed that I missed our chat on Friday.   To those who reached out to check on me... I thank you.

A family emergency took me away from the farm for a couple of days.  

Since we last chatted, I have had the pleasure of watching the land morph from that space somewhere between summer and autumn right into full autumn.  Our mornings are quite chilly.

Our days have been a mixture of sun, clouds, and rain.  Lately, more rain than sun.

I had a little extra time and began the work of clearing out the summer's leftover garden growth.  About a quarter of my garden boxes are now empty and ready to be tucked beneath a blanket of compost for the winter.

While working in the garden, I discovered that my saffron crocuses (croci?) had finally blossomed. 

 I immediately stopped what I was doing and pulled the three red stigmas from each of the flowers' centers so that I could dry them for saffron.  First I had to gently move this little fellow along...

I have been very lucky with this bed of saffron crocus.  It blossoms every autumn and gives me enough saffron to last the year.  By the way, saffron is the most expensive spice by weight.   We have a couple favorite recipes in which saffron is a key element - so growing our own has surely saved us money.  

This weekend we decided that it is now time to take our horses up to the upper pastures.  The front pasture lasted all summer, thanks to the abundant rain.  From now on (except on rainy days) we will use the front pasture for the donkeys, pigs and sheep.... who can all graze together. 

 And the upper pastures, which are thick with grass, will feed the horses through the winter (along with supplemental hay.)

Yesterday, when the horses first arrived in the upper pastures, they ran and jumped, bucked and reared with absolute joy.  It is surely a spectacle to behold... pure, unadulterated joy!

Yesterday while dumping manure on the compost pile, I found a few new pumpkin plants that just sprouted from pumpkin seeds that had germinated some time in the past week.  It's amazing to me that in almost November seeds are germinating.  We've still not had a frost.  Much will change after that happens.

I picked the last of summer's garden blooms this weekend and brought them into the house to enjoy.  I will miss having the ability to bring fresh flowers inside whenever I like.  But, there's always next summer!

We had a farm tragedy last week... a huge bald eagle swooped down and attacked one of our runner ducks.  So very sad... one less runner.  Needless to say, the birds are all on yard arrest until the eagle moves on to another area.  This is always one of the challenges when trying to live peacefully alongside Mother Nature.  Sometimes nature gets the best of us!


Anonymous said…
So sorry about your runner duck.
Glad you are back hoping everyone is good
Lisa said…
I hope all is well with the family emergency. That's too bad for the duck. Our issues are mink. We caught one last week that had managed to kill two hens.

We've only had two very light frosts. Like you it's weird almost November and we're still growing. I harvested a huge bowl of peppers a few days ago. My greenhouse is doing better now than it did in the summer.
Ann said…
Hi Beverly,
Can you say more about your manure composting? I've been using fine pine shavings for bedding for my goats and so the manure and shavings are mixed and I'm wondering how long it will take to break down. What do you use for bedding for your animals? Thank you.
The JR said…
I was wondering what happened to your friday post.

Please share your recipes using Saffron. I bought some because I found it at Trader Joe's. Now, I don't know what to do with it.

Sorry for the loss of your duck. We've got the biggest hawk I've ever seen hunting our yard. I know it's after the squirrels and chipmunks. So far, it has not bothered our chickens.
jaz@octoberfarm said…
oh no, one duck short. did it fly off with it or kill it there? i love it when horses get excited like that. my perennials are re-emerging. it is crazy.
Marcia LaRue said…
Yes, you were missed on Friday but I always figure something unexpected cropped up that you had to take care of!
So sorry about losing a runner duck ... ☹️
Hopefully, this week will prove uneventful!
This N That said…
Sorry about your runner duck..I hoe the Eagle finds another source of food but they tend to stick around if they're happy..We've had one (probably a pair) around here for several years now..Maybe someday I'll get a picture..ENjoy your week..!!
Lynne said…
I love the Bald Eagle
Not if they are going to attack your Runner Ducks.
Sad to hear indeed.

No frost here either . . . some areas said they had frost.
It was 33 degrees but no real frost. . . . just frosty feeling, sweaters, coats, gloves one day!

Liked your saffron . . . name some things you make, use it, please, when you have time.

Enjoy the last few blooms . . . I have been cutting back and cleaning . . .
some flowers are holding on. Amazing, a week it will be November!
That bouquet of flowers on your table looks so pretty. Yes, autumn is definitely here. Oh so sorry to hear about your runner duck. It always seems so strange to me when birds kill birds. I guess that's nature. I think you have to be pretty tough to live on a farm....tougher than me anyway. Hope whoever was involved in your family emergency is doing better today.
woody said…
So sorry for the loss of your runner duck Beverly! I know your towards all birds and animals.