Fall Musings
Written by Calliope Pappadakis   
Monday, 31 October 2011 10:31

Powell's Valley SceneI just finished what was quite possibly the busiest summer of my life. I taught 7 online classes, ran a 14 member CSA, took on the volunteer job of pool co-chief, learned how to hatch and raise chicks (a specialty breed at that)… In the transition from the hustle and bustle of the hot season to the cool season I have found myself in – 5 classes, no CSA, and settling into the rhythm of being a chicken farmer – I am almost bewildered at the quiet, slow, and peaceful pace here. It is a considerable adjustment!

What do I do with myself? I’ve begun baking, freezing, apple-sauce-making, I picked up where I left on 3 novels (and finished 2!), I’ve been hiking, on Sunday drives, and dreaming about our plans to one day build a home. I anticipate a snowy season and recently treated myself to a pair of cross-country skis! I’ve wanted a pair for nearly a decade so I figured it was time with amount of precipitation in Winter 2011's forecast. I’ve picked up my camera again after not having much time to take photos over the summer. I have cleared out beds in the high tunnel, but still have plenty of work to do… but at my leisure. Smile.

With the unexpected and very early snowfall we had over the weekend and freezing temperatures, the tomato plants that were spritely and yielded 7 pounds of tomatoes just a few days ago, are now curling and browning. I’ll pull the plants out and compost them this week. There are plenty of greens and root vegetables we are still enjoying – arugula, mustard, kale, brassicas, turnips, radishes, winter lettuces. Within the next week, I’ll clear and prep several beds for the 9 pounds of garlic seed I need to get into the ground.

Chicks in the snowThe chicks are more delightful than I ever imagined. The Earth Cowboy and I are so happy to have them around. They are easy to tend, amusing to watch, and fun to hear clucking and crowing their way through each day. They free range and have explored what’s under the falling leaves as the season changes. They had their first experience with snow this weekend and immediately ran to an area by the leaning fence where snow hadn’t reached. They walked in a single file line along this 8” path and fluffed their feathers to keep warm. They don’t seem to mind the cold as much as the white stuff under their feet.

I’m looking forward to an unhurried and quiet season – time to spend planning, thinking, reading and wrapping up the year.