AUTUMN TIGER WEATHER

We have the dog days of summer, China has their autumn tiger on the prowl, spreading a fierce heatwave in early autumn. Today's less a dog panting in the shade and more a wild dry fire-crackling heat. On that note, our inherited pile of eucalyptus wood is diminishing but still available. Free - come and stock up on firewood while it's bone-dry.

Free firewood. Help yourself

The pasture over the road is watered from the creek, which is also bone-dry. There is much less nutritional value in pasture grasses at this time of year, but we would still prefer to keep watering to keep the grasses robust for next year. We'll move last year's babies off the dry pasture and back over the road to the fields by the farm this month. Next year, we'll rotate groups of goats on that irrigated grass using electric fencing, which is flexible and effective. Don't touch!

 

Goats will avoid electric fence. This year we had groups of goats running at the fencing, smashing it and escaping

This time of year is sweet spot time, with summer crowds gone back to school and holiday parties yet to start. The goats are healthy and already breeding with Holstein. Their milk begins to dry up as daylight hours shorten, and when we stop milking altogether we'll worm them and change the nutritional mix of their feed to support their pregnant bodies. They are sleeping inside the loafing barn now that it's nippy at night, and as soon as the field becomes muddy in the rains they'll spend most of their time there.

We've harvested the pears in the orchard for pies at the local restaurant and cleared more ground to begin a vegetable garden. The last farm wedding of the year will be next week in the secret garden, and then it'll be a quiet space for hammock thinking and the gardeners to get to work again. We have plenty of garden clippings to chip and rotted manure to work into the ground. Jake will clean out the straw and manure in the loafing barn in a Bobcat, and we'll cover and store that manure to rot down over the winter. We'll also fill in potholes where we can. I'm at peace when all these winter preparations are complete and I can look forward to next year's babies - not to mention the end of year parties coming up very soon.

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