Beautiful weather in South Dakota on the last day of October beckoned a call for wholesome outside activities. For some they may suspiciously look like work, but for us it was a gratifying way to enjoy the day. I'll let you decide what you think of our "wholesome living."
Task 1: Winterizing the tractor
This is DH's (dear husband's) super secret task. I've been assured that this is very important Something about changing the oil, filters and ?? We're done when he says were done. This is all to be prepare for subzero temps. (Which I am secretly excited about as long as it's accompanied by snow and lots of it!) However, I desert Jay and his super secret task to start my own not so secret but equally dirty task.
Task 2: Clean the automatic waterers
Soon we will be bringing all the livestock up to the corrals and shutting off the waterers in the pastures. The waterers in the corrals are my task to get them in tip-top shape for winter. It involves draining them, bleach, a scrub brush, and rubber gloves. A real farmer might not need the rubber gloves. I prefer gloves and a brush with a LONG handle. But they sure look good now and healthier for the animals if the waterers are kept clean. Here are the goats trying to talk us into moving them to the corrals before it gets any colder.
Task 3: Doctor a goat
This is a 2 person job. We have one goat who's showing some stress (aka the runs) so earlier in the week I took in a sample to determine what was causing it. Now we just had to catch him and give him some medicine. Since this isn't our first goat rodeo, we quickly lead him into the aisleway and then the "catch pen." There we found out ... we got a jumper! He took us a bit off guard but we have tall walls! Adlers 1, Commander 0. Here is a not so happy goat getting a little unappreciated loving.
Task 4: Pick the dry beans to shell.
I planted a ridiculous amount of varieties of beans in the garden, many of them a Native American and/or South Dakota heirloom variety, all for this purpose. You can still eat them fresh and they look like green beans at that point, but then you get to forget about them and enjoy a nice fall day to pick them and then shell them...later.
Bush, 80-85 days. A tan to creamy yellow dry bean originally from the Arikara nation of the Dakota Territory, introduced by Oscar Will in about 1915. Has been identified as the same variety collected by the Lewis and Clark expedition and grown by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. Drought tolerant and productive; a living piece of the Old West!
How cool is that! Here is some of my midnight bounty!
Task 5: Test the popcorn
Ok, I'm not proud...around 10pm I decided to go out to the garage and start shelling the beans. Yeah, I know, crazy time to start a project, but I was curious to see what colors of beans I was going to get...I don't sound any less crazy yet, do I? Anyway, as I was shelling I couldn't help but stare at the popcorn that was drying. And wondering, is it ready? So at midnight, I decided enough bean shelling and grabbed an ear of popcorn and headed to the house. Here's a tidbit, if you're trying to be super quiet and not wake anyone up, popping popcorn isn't the way to do it! The results - popped up fantastic and the flavor did not disappoint! I know I could go on about home grown popcorn, but it is so different and so much better! Pops up smaller, but so much more flavor - it actually tastes a bit like corn, no hulls, but the texture is "slightly crunchy" the opposite of tough/chewy. I did apologize to DH the next morning for not waiting to share the first fruits of the popcorn crop with him, but it's possible that it was a rather empty apology cuz it is just so good!