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The flies are swarming, nights are chilly, and the produce has begun to pile up onto the counter. These are my signs that fall is around the corner. Which also means, winter is coming. Fall on the homestead is when we prepare for winter. It is so amazing how the seasons develop. Spring is cool and we work extra hard to get ready for the growing season of summer. Then summer winds down to the cool of fall where we are preserving and preparing for the cold, when the world slows down. I can't wait for the dormant days when I can relax under a blanket and read a book. I don’t think I have said that for years. When the kids were young, winter was my favorite because of all the relaxing nights at home. But, as they grew older our winter began to fill with school, activities, and just busyness. Not this year, in a way covid-19 has reminded me of those slow and easy days. God gave us the seasons for a reason and this year I'm going to utilize every minute I get. Every fall I hear many others say they can't wait for winter to get here. I think we all crave the change of season. But, when the first snow storm hits they can't wait for summer. I'm going to pull myself off that complaining wagon and just enjoy every minute that God gives me! I hope to share them with all of you, let's get to it!

On the homestead, we got our second batch of meat chicken chicks. I got the text on Monday night. I was sure they would arrive by Wednesday. But my tracking on Tuesday night said they were in Saint Paul and they didn’t get to Casper until Wednesday night. I was so scared that I was going to receive a box of lifeless chicks. I called the post office on Wednesday hoping if they were in Sheridan I could pick them up early. The lady on the phone was just as worried as I was. I was so pleased when she called the next morning and said, “your chicks are here and I can hear them chirp!” I could tell she was just as thrilled and thankful as I was. Let me tell you if these chicks would not have come from Murrry Mcmurry’s I don’t think they would have survived. I think they, by far, raise the strongest chick. We have never raised a fall batch before but so far it's going great! I took Ebony’s triplets to the meat processor. I sold one and the other two are still for sale. But, I'm so thankful we were able to get them into Big Horn Meats in Buffalo. I was told by several meat processors that it would be next May. This, of course, is not their fault but our broken food system. I am sorry the food industry has been sick for a while and we are now seeing the repercussion. When an animal is ready for butcher it needs to be butchered and it can't wait until May for the next open slot; it's just not an option.

In the garden, I'm still battling blossom end rot in my tomatoes. You can see what I did about it here. Other than that, everything is growing great and my new fall crops are germinating amazingly.

In the kitchen, after my huge canning session last week, where I got caught up on a lot of things, I didn’t have much to do this week. This jar lids shortage just takes my breath away. Who knew? I froze another batch of corn for my mother-in-law. I also decided to wade out into the deep waters of food preservation and try fermenting. I made my first batch of sauerkraut. I only had one head of cabbage but it made two quarts. I'll let you know how it goes. I have been hearing about the benefits of fermented foods for years and this year seems like the best year to keep us healthy!

Lord God, help me understand where this country, this world is going. I know you have a plan and I am laid in your hands. In your name, I pray, Amen.

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