I haven't said anything about the garden lately. Remember the big plans I had to plant a fall garden? In fact, just before we left on our vacation, I did plant some beets and cabbage, and thoroughly wet the seeds down with the soaker hose so they would germinate. Then I was gone for ten days, and returned to find absolutely nothing growing except a few hardy weed seedlings. Even though it was too late to do so, I would have tried planting more; but I was tired from our travels and depressed at the lack of rain, and besides, I didn't have any more beet seeds. Goodbye, fall garden.
The tomatoes are still giving us plenty for the table, and sweet peppers are producing. Other than that, I am done with gardening for this year.
I will be buying some apples at a local orchard before long. The apples are three weeks ahead of schedule.
The drought has killed at least three of the young Norway Spruce trees and a dogwood tree, and who knows how many perennial flowers. I'm seriously tired of fighting it. Our cows still have alfalfa to graze, although it's dry and crackly; I'm thankful for our "accidental" alfalfa. We have hay for this winter. But we will have to buy hay next year for three cows and their calves, and if this dry weather pattern continues into next year, something will have to give. One thing about it, Babe's calf would be old enough to sell at hay-buying time, and would probably (if the drought ends) bring enough money to buy hay for the others.
Right now, due to farmers selling cows they have no way of feeding, there are fewer cattle than at any time since the Department of Agriculture started keeping records in 1973. So even if the drought ends, there are going to be fewer mother cows having calves, and that means less beef. Which, of course, means higher beef prices.
As far north as we went on our vacation, we never did really get out of the drought. If I am depressed about the situation, think how the farmers feel who depend on their crops for their livelihood.
Enough of that: We have three calves coming over the next few months, and I already have two of them named. The February calf, as I already mentioned, will be named Bouncer whether it is male or female. The November calf, due around Thanksgiving, will be Turkey. I guess Babe's calf, due in a month, will have to do something notable to give itself a name. I would not be surprised to have all heifer calves this time around, since there have been nothing but bull calves for three years. The odds say it is time for some girl calves. Funny thing is, at this point I don't much care what sex they are.
You should have seen the sticker prices on the really big ones.