October 3, 2016

October To-Do List

October is the month we can usually expect our first frost. Most of the planting should have been done by now, but with so little rain last month, the soil is either powder or hard as a rock. It's also the month in which we tend to some seasonal chores. So what's on the to-do list?

Garden Planting

Most of the fall garden should have been planted in August and September, but I keep waiting on rain that doesn't come. Still to plant:
  • Greens in the hoop house: lettuce, kale, claytonia, arugula
  • Root vegetables (these should have been planted already but better late than never I suppose): mangles, beets, turnips, carrots, and radishes

Winter Wheat

I mentioned in this year's Master Plan post that we are changing where we grow field crops to a different paddock.

Blue is proposed

The new location will need a fence (maybe electric) and ground preparation to plant,

but with the ground so hard from so little rain we're behind on soil preparation here.

Winter Pasture

Deer and turkey seed is an inexpensive way to plant a winter pasture.

I like to sow pasture seed right before it rains, because I don't like to leave it sitting on the ground, even mulched (see "A Modified Fukuoka Method of Planting Winter Pasture") because of the chickens. Usually I hand broadcast to fill in bare spots, but it will take more this year because we lost most of our pasture due to the hot, dry weather.

Confining the Seed-Eating Culprits 

Escape artists, every one.

Given the opportunity, the chickens will consume every last pasture and crop seed we plant! That means they will have to stay confined until the seed is sprouted and growing. On the to-do list are wing clipping and checking the chicken yard fence for any escape points that need to be mended.

Meat Harvest

We can start this when the days are too cool for flies. This year it will be mostly ducks and maybe a few chickens.


Here's part of what we have done.

We have a good start but there is still quite a bit to split

Here's part of what still needs to be done.

Woodstove Chimneys

These need to be cleaned of soot and buildup inside the pipes.

Finishing the Little Barn

Seasonal chores put projects on hold, but we'll still work on finishing the Little Barn as we can.

First coat of barn paint on the new door and first windows in.

What about you? What's on your October to-do list?

October To-Do List © Oct 2016 by Leigh 
at http://www.5acresandadream.com/


Kev Alviti said...

To long to list here! Hopefully I'll be roofing my extension by the end! Need to sort out the garden for Wi ter as well. Planning on altering how I grow things a bit more

Jason and Michelle said...

I have a .ot of stuff to get done, but it depends on the weather. Mother Nature and I don't seem to be matching up our schedules too well.

Leigh said...

Seems like gardening is always subject to change, doesn't it? It's one of the most fun things to experiment with.

Leigh said...

Me too! Mother Nature is always in control, isn't she. :)

Donna OShaughnessy said...

From time to time I run across "homesteaders" who hire their work done, who buy all their food at farmers markets, who make soap from melt and pour glycerin. You, Leigh, are the real deal. Homesteading never stops does it? There is no real down time, it's always preparing for the next season. You inspire me every day.

Our October list in brief
Finish our new (old) chicken house
Move wood hut closer to grain bin house
Set up our old farm store as a writers cabin for me
Repair 7 acres of fencing and start on permnent fencing
Plant garlic etc...
Drink more beer. :)

Harry Flashman said...

It has been very dry up here in North Georgia since early summer. My wife and I went down to the river yesterday, and it is so dry you could clearly see the bottom. In most places you could walk across it without getting your knees wet. In a normal year, it's about four feet deep on average.

Quinn said...

I only write something down if it's not a typical/seasonal chore. Like I don't write "clean chimney" but I did write "rebuild goat ramp!" The other stuff is always on my mind, and if I ever wonder what to do next I just step outside.

LucĂ­a Moreno-Velo said...

Planted some cabbage and coliflower today. None of the stuff I planted in September is coming up and we are having summer weather right now. It rained one only day in September. I guess I just need to keep planting and hope for the best.

Leigh said...

Well,Donna, we're trying but I feel like we've got a long way to go! Your October list may be brief, but that's a lot to do, especially all that fencing! Looking forward to hearing about your writer's cabin. That sounds like a great idea.

Leigh said...

You've had the same kind of summer we have Harry. Too hot and too dry. The only good thing I can find in it is that even the deadly nightshade is drying up. Maybe it will die off and not come back next year.

Leigh said...

LOL, I'm at the point that if I don't write it down, my eyes simply don't see it anymore. All of our to-dos have become background to me.

Leigh said...

Lucia, it sounds like you've had a similar summer to ours. :( I hope you get a harvest from your fall planting.

aart said...

OhGawds....I don't want to write it out!! Too much stuff, will lock me into static analysis paralysis.
I'll slowly write it out, adding one completed chore with one or maybe 2 uncompleted. Firsts are new tarp on shed roof and plant the everbearing raspberry transplants I was given.

Leigh said...

Sounds like you've got a rather overwhelming list! That's great about the raspberry plants (hoping mine survived our terrible summer).

Ed said...

I'm surprised you don't have a horn seed sower for projects like that. They sure come in handy when you have quite a bit of seed to spread evenly over a small area and they fit your MO perfectly. We still use my great grandfather's horn seed sower around our farm.

aart said...

Yes, tons...overwhelming to do it all on your own.
But this post *did* get me going, well that and the perfect weather, so list is started and progressing nicely. Couple of big things already checked off.

Leigh said...

The weather really helps. It was so hot this summer that I just didn't have the energy to work outside as much as I usually do. Nice to have cooler temps for a change.

Leigh said...

Ed, I've seen pictures of those but would have no idea where to get one. I think it would be useful too. I'll have to start looking around for one.

Ed said...

I guess I would start on ebay but I'm guessing pricing is more as an antique than a useful object. Judging by the graphics on the one my father uses and others I have seen, they were given away with seed purchases back in the day. I suspect that someone somewhere makes a "modern" version. I would also think that you could find a long metal funnel and fashion your own without too much difficulty.

Leigh said...

On eBay I could probably get one for around $50, but I like your idea of trying to make one. It would surely help when it comes time to plant corn.