Going around the bend

Tomorrow, another visit with the oncologist to see what the results of the testing say – hopefully, there will be results and this won’t be another trip into town for nothing.

Today, though: planning. Planning for next season and next year. This afternoon, I managed a tour around the rear garden to see the pitiful state of affairs. Blight has taken hold of several frames of tomatoes, and the bugs are munching on the cukes and zucchini like it’s their personal buffet (although I did manage to squash a few during my brief stay outdoors). The corn is dead, for yet another season, and I’m of half a mind to just give up on that altogether. The new round of lima and green beans are not thriving, as they say, and are either dead or dying. Some of the transplants I managed to get into the frames before going into the hospital are still alive, and even thriving, including a new round of Cherokee Purple tomatoes and some bell peppers. The watermelon and butternut squash transplants don’t look horrible, but they’re skinny things and I’m hoping they make it through.

The other part of planning involves chickens. We decided before I went in for surgery that next year we’re going to raise our own chickens for meat in addition to those we keep as layers. This is not without logistical issues, of course, and it’s likely that only my brother and myself will be able to actually butcher the birds, but that’s fine. Other family members can handle the less gruesome parts, like packaging the birds, whole or pieced out, once they’ve been dressed. That seems like a fair enough division of labor to me.

Since the birds are generally processed at about 12 weeks, and the chicks are available year round, we could do multiple groups per year if it turns out to be worthwhile. I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be, as how often do most people really get the chance to raise their food almost from start to a very definite finish? We’re not quite on the path to hatching our own chicks here, and probably never will be since that would require a rooster, and that simply isn’t happening around here. I’m content enough with ordering chicks even though it isn’t as completely self sufficient as would be the case in a utopian universe. Now, if it really comes does to the end of the world as we know it, complete with zombies, we’ll rethink that part of the equation. Until then, we plan for stocking the freezer with freshly butchered, pasture raised chicken, right off the property. There are, no doubt, worse things in life.

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