The fireplace is installed, and the boys sat with their dad as he made the first fire in our new wood-burning stove. We sat and watched the fire for a little while, and felt it warm up the house beyond our wildest dreams. Then, the day actually turned into a sunny day, and we realized we had lots to do outside to prepare for the coming cold. We loaded up some firewood from where all the chips are dumped at the far end of the garden, and brought those back to start splitting. We loaded up the back of Scott’s pickup with new chips for the chicken coop. We actually started shedding outer layers of clothing as we worked. I shovelled all the chips into the coop to give them a fresh new ground cover, while Scott and Ben started chopping firewood. Bean, played with the rabbits. He is a big help!
After we got new chips in the Chicken yard, Scott and I cleaned out the chicken coop itself. As I was hauling a wheelbarrow of future compost down the driveway, I realized that we’ve been so busy doing projects around the house, that we haven’t decorated for Halloween, or even gotten a real good grasp on costumes. Eek. Halloween is in two days. Our pumpkins are still out in the garden. We need to pick them, and make some Jack-o-Lanterns at least.
Splitting firewood is not as easy as they make it look on pioneer shows. Our wood is not entirely dried out either. Scott and Ben worked on it together. Ben got to swing the sledgehammer a couple of times. He is a burly one.
After getting the chicken coop all set up, and a small store of firewood prepared, we turned to the garden, and started pulling out plants. We tried to salvage some of the tomatoes, but think they will probably be better food for the chickens than anything we can put into jars at this point. The goats went crazy for the corn stalks. It was like the most delectable snack!
I had read that Marigolds are good throughout the garden as a way to keep away pests. I’ve seen little Marigolds before, but had no idea they can turn into these enormous bushes. Next year’s garden will be designed to really show off the flowering plants better. We have learned so much this year, and learned how little we know and how much more there is to learn. All in all, a pretty exciting first year of gardening!