To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven; a time to be born, and a time to die, a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted… Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Autumn is peeking at us around the corner. Birch trees are tentatively beginning to turn yellow. The lush monotone green of the summer canopy is presenting different, more varied dusky hues. The wondrous, intimate, never ending cycle of growth and decay is felt particularly in September.

Tapestry of greens developing behind the greenhouse

Early autumn morning at Yewfield's small tarn with birch leaves on the deck

The female worker bees that will last the winter are being born and the male drones are dying off, after being refused entry back into the hive as the remaining workers try to conserve their winter stores. We took 51 lbs of honey off three of our four hives to grace the breakfast buffet this year leaving plenty of honey for them to last through our long wet winter.

Our bee hives full with winter stores of honey

We’ve done our last hay cut from High Field and are desperately waiting for a day, preferably two, of dry weather to cure it before baling with our nifty hand baler. The horses are back in the hay meadows getting fat for winter on the aftermath after spending the summer down the road at a neighbour’s farm. We allow our meadows and pastures to breathe, flower and set seed stock-free from May to August. Bracken bashing goes on to keep this invasive plant at bay so that our herb-rich meadows don’t get swamped. Bracken fronds, by the way, make an excellent weed-free mulch protecting the soil in empty vegetable beds from the battering of winter rains.

Four racks of damp hay, waiting for sunny weather to dry it before baling

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