Blessed Autumn

We are settling into our final stretch of the busy season on the island, with a bit of time for reflection, which the autumn tends to offer so generously.

Our ram lambs have settled in the hay field on the south side, happily grazing on salty-sweet grass, with a dreamy view of Lucy Vincent beach.

The bottle-fed lambs are still in their home plot, greeting visitors and often settling under the window of the shop as they eavesdrop on customer chit-chat.

We have a new black ram to join our white ram, and they are enjoying their time between the marshes of the lower pasture and the south side.

The rest of the flock is grazing rotationally on the remaining pastures on the north side of the farm, finally free from the uncanny humidity that this summer brought forth without much of a reprieve. The lambs are growing rapidly, now with noticeably thick wool coats often specked with burdock seeds they will continue to spread without fail across the farm. If only we had the wit and the patience to harvest the wild burdock root and consume it on a daily basis. We would all be better for it. Perhaps that is a goal for 2020…

As for the rest of the animals, the chickens are laying again a rainbow of eggs, we have two new baby goats – Midnight and Twilight – and our meat birds are just about ready for processing. Our donkeys – Maude and Catherine – are keeping our horse, Panama, good company and our dog, Boli, very busy as he corrals them into the shade of the swamp maples.

The shop is busy as customers are finally able to envision themselves wrapped in wool, after the dreadful heat of summer when even the thought of a wool blanket could send you straight into the waves. We are approaching our final wedding of the season, greeting our fall tenants in time for the derby, and getting some time to gather ourselves and prepare for the colder months ahead.

This week we harvested apples, autumn olives and wild grapes along Fulling Mill, and heaps of pears from Clarissa’s grandmother’s pear tree in the garden. Best for cider, we’ll spend the next few weeks pressing them while Mitchell makes as much applesauce as can accompany the pork in our freezer. The greenhouse still holds the remnants of summer colors in the tomotoes that are hanging from endless green stems, though we are a bit impatient as we wait for them to peter off so that we can move ahead with our winter plantings – kale, claytonia, arugula, and spinach for miles.

This is truly the most glorious time for all of us here on the farm, and on the island. 

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