Today is the autumn equinox and it is beautiful, sunny and breezy with some wispy white clouds. I have been harvesting for some time now, picking pears with apples coming on line any time soon. I fought the birds for figs, when they are ripe they are gorgeous but the birds have an uncanny knack for spotting the ripe ones before I do. Often there is just the remains of a pecked out fig skin to show where they have been. I have jars of spicy chutney in the cupboard along with pickled onions and some wonderful blackberry jam. Often my breakfast consists of a mix of yoghurt, muesli and fresh picked berries.
The domestic bird numbers have reduced a little as ducks head for the freezer along with ten fat rabbits. More to go and the animal food bill is huge but I can't bring myself to kill too frequently, I still find it difficult mentally and physically.
The batch of chicks are indeed a little mixed, males will be eaten and most hens will be kept but there seem to be too many weedy ones with pompoms. My original hens consisted of a mixed bunch from the local market. As they all lay their eggs in the same set of nest boxes it is impossible to tell who has laid what. Amongst them I chose a pretty small hen who looked like a Poland with a pompom on her head. She seems to be dim but incredibly fertile and an increasing number of the offspring seem to take after her. Small and scrawny but with the luck of the Irish they continue to hatch and survive. Next spring I must get some new blood into the flock.