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  • Writer's pictureJenna

Summer Haze

Good morning from Cold Antler Farm! It's hot, dry, and feels like a true ending of summer around here. Days are hot, sunlight is tired, and the garden is booming! The rains that made July pass like a foggy nap have subsided, and the apples are already ripe and falling from the trees. We've been canning, freezing, and harvesting from the garden daily. Apples collected for pie filling and sauce, sometimes given as a treat to the livestock. The grass is green and the stream still cools our feet on the hottest days. We set up our camp chairs right in the stream and enjoy a cold drink and bring a portable speaker to listen to a podcast or audiobook. Life isn't too shabby.

The big story around here is fall prep, of course. No firewood in but at least 30 bales of hay in the barn, and more on the way soon as I can swing it. Firewood is a top priority, and hopefully a good amount from downed trees on our own land if a friend with a chainsaw can help for an hour or two. I'm healing from my tendonitis slowly, but hauling buckets and swinging an axe is getting easier, good news all around.

My truck is still in the shop, being worked on as a last priority at the garage since I am pretty sure the head mechanic already knows I'm pretty skint on funds at the moment and so I am saving up whenever I can to get the brakes and windows repaired so I can have a farm vehicle here we really need before winter. A large 4wheel drive vehicle on the mountain is a necessity for snow and rural living, but the mortgage and hay/wood comes first so it's a day at a time. Still working on August.

But the general vibe around here is good. Plenty of food, keeping busy with all the farm and animal chores, and catching up on pet portraits, soap orders, and design work by and by. Applying to jobs every day for off-farm income to help so things like trucks and firewood aren't a feat to accomplish, but my luck runs slow there. Hoping things turn around soon.

Basically things around here are August in a pandemic. We stay close, ignore the bugs and heat best we can, try our best to enjoy the little things in life and hopefully spend more time getting ready for winter so when the snow falls we are safe and sound. Which is all any of us want in the Northeast.

I'm sure many of these posts sound the same: winter prep, money being tight, hay, firewood, gardens - but that is every small farm out here. There is comfort in this routine, in making it happen year after year. And while not always exciting, it does help hug the heart a little to know you're trying to accomplish something you have before. Something you've done without another person, or money, and extra expenses piling up - so stay tuned to see how this year unravels. If we are all lucky by Yuletide we'll be sipping warm cider and singing songs of winter wonder tucked and cozy.

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