In which we do the stuff that means the calendar is turning towards fall

It's that time of year again.

Henry helps buck hay out of the field

The temps are still summer-y, but we are already starting to plan for colder months ahead.  

Gail and I work together on the larger bales

That means lots of hay.  

I usually get at least a ton of cheap local hay in case the winter is very long and cold--it's nutritionally not very valuable, but it's good to feed at mid-day if the pasture is covered in sn*w.  

This year we needed to fetch things from the Dry Side of the state, so a trip to Gail and Mike's hay field to bring back a ton of the Good Stuff seemed like a good idea.  


Faithful horse trailer doubles as hay transport

At home, we engage in an eating strategy called the "Backyard Scramble" which consists of wandering around and harvesting enough food to make meals.



This week we are eating lots of blueberries and blackberries--the bushes are producing so heavily right now we can't keep up, so the freezer is filling up with packets of treats for winter.


Beans.  Lots of beans.

Jim is the expert at canning, so I pick a big bucket of stuff for him and he cans it for us.  Today it's beans. 


Probably it will be beans again in a few days.


This is turning out to be a good summer for beans, and I planted LOTS of them!  We will also have a good crop of squash this year, I think.  And maybe even some tomatoes, despite the Tomato Curse.

(the Tomato Curse is working, by the way, and we've gotten plenty of rain this summer.  I haven't irrigated the gardens at all since May.  Last year I watered each garden for an hour every-other-night to keep the plants alive.  And the number of forest fires is way down from last year, hurray!)

Of course, I've been riding.


Here's a video I took on the trail a few days ago.  At the end of the video, we take a left. 



 If YOU were with us that day, and you took that left, you would find THESE:


Chanterelle mushrooms!  They were delicious.  It's unusual to
find them in August--last year we hunted mushrooms in October.

We went to the Stanwood-Camano fair this year, instead of the big state fair that's held a little later in the month.
 
Of course, we visited the animal exhibits first.

Glamourous guinea pigs

Refined rooster

capricious caprines
(I think goat handlers are saints...or crazy)

aristocratic alpacas

And then we went into the indoor "handcrafted exhibits" to view the special stuff people brought:

A "Nutcracker" head designed to be danced in--this one
was made by our green bean rider Sue!

Monica submitted two paintings for the exhibit:

Three of Haiku Farm's elegant new hens posed for this portrait

Monica caught a crab, photographed it, painted it...and then we ate it.

Then (finally!) it was time to watch the horse events.


Western pleasure classes confuse me, but the riders mostly seemed
to be having fun.


This kid and his noble steed were determined to win their race.

My choice for Cutest Event Ever: the "Parent Lead-Line Class" in which
the 4-H participants boost a parent into the saddle.  Hilarious, too.

Coming soon: an update from Fiddle's veterinarian.  

Stay tuned!


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