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seasonal changes

With the coming of fall we've seen a few little changes around here. Most noticeably, we've started using electric lighting again, after a period without. It wasn't really like breaking a fast—there wasn't a moment where we said "it's just too dark!" and gave up—we just started using lights when we needed to, and we need to a lot more now that it gets dark at 7:30. Sometimes I read to Harvey by head-lamp, sometimes it's the overhead light. It feels good to be flexible: going lightless was great for the summer, but would be a burden now.

I also bought eggs for the first time in months last week. The growing dark also affects the chickens, and their egg production has dropped from 3-4 a day to 2-3. We're still eating as many for breakfast and the cold weather (and the demands of the farm stand!) has encouraged me to bake more, so a supplemental dozen was necessary. Our flock's output will dwindle still further as winter takes hold, so we're grateful for the farm down the road with electric lighting in their henhouses. We hope to get more chickens in the spring, so maybe next winter we'll be able to scrape by without buying any eggs at all; then again, we might still need to supplement, especially as we get in to a better schedule of giving eggs away.

I'm thankful that we've still got a while before frost—you hear that, weather?—unlike folks a little farther north, because there are still a whole lot of peppers (and a few eggplants) that need to ripen up. But Harvey and I put in a bunch of cold-tolerant plants that will either give us a bit of tasty greens in the few months before real winter or—if we get a winter like last year's—all the way through until we can plant again in the spring.

We started putting the fans down in the basement. Most of the windows stay closed all day. Next thing you know it'll be storm windows. There are apples at the farmers market (though none in our trees yet—next year?). It's fall.

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