Perfect Fall Weather

The days in SW Michigan have been outstanding this week. It’s been warm and sunny with low humidity and cool nights for easy sleeping. This has been the “keep the windows open” kind of weather. To me that is the perfect fall week weather-wise. The dogwoods leaves are turning red, the apples are falling and we are rounding the corner on another summer growing season.

Yesterday we finally got the forth, and final, water containment tote connected. The hold-up was a piece of plumbing that was not available in the stores. After weeks of stopping into Menard’s every Monday (our one in-town day), Gene finally found a way to “jury rig” another piece to work. Now when the fall rains begin later on this month all four totes will be collecting rain water. Getting this tote hooked up is a good thing too because we have been doing quite a bit of shrub, vine and perennial transplanting (and watering) of late.

4 275 gallon totes

Less wasted water off of our pole barn roof and more available to use.

Gene made a change in the input downspout on this batch of totes. Instead of using the flexible piece as his did on the first set-up, he choose this time to use a rigid downspout input pipe.

Rigid hose

We are testing the rigid input pipe on the two new 275 water totes.

Gene made this decision because 1) He felt the rigid pipe was easier to install and 2) He hopes it will have less clogging issues.

Flexible input hose

The flexible hose from the first two totes. You can see the difference.

If you follow this blog you know how I feel about animals; chicken, dog, horses…just love them all. And you know about my passion to feed healthy food and herbs to all of my critters. Today I found this wonderful chart created by the


Today I also did a very through clean out/washout of the refrigerator. Chores like that tend to get away from me during the busy summer months and it sure feels good to have that big task complete.

I also baked a wonderful Amish chicken with all the fixin’s; carrots, onions, cabbage, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. We ate this meal for lunch and will enjoy a chicken salad in a homemade pita bread next time followed by homemade chicken, vegetable, brown rice soup. Fall food for sure!

I don’t say this often enough and for that I am remiss. I am so glad you chose to open this email. I hope I tell you enough that it means a lot to me.  I realize that there are so many blog writers offering newsletters each week.  Thank you for joining me here for a few minutes each week.

Small House homesteader, Donna

6 thoughts on “Perfect Fall Weather

  1. Pingback: Perfect Fall Weather | Small House Under a Big Sky

    • Bonnie, I don’t really have a “recipe” per see but I am happy to share how I make this dish. I kind of cook from experience, what I have in the fridge and the seat of my pants….so there you have it! LOL! I actually have several Amish chicken dishes that I make but this is the one I baked yesterday. I was busy and did not get photographs taken this time. Sorry!
      I buy an Amish chicken whole. This time, I took the skins off of organic sweet potatoes, chopped them up with up onions, carrots, green beans (two handfulls of beans from the garden) cabbage and got some tomatoes out of the freezer and added everything to the roasting pan. I add some chicken broth, garlic, rosemary, basil, ground black pepper and baked two hours. Just a chicken will cook in about 1 1/2 hours on 350 degree but my roasting pan was very full of veggies since I planned on making soup from the leftovers. I like to plan for the next meal so I utilized the gas in the oven just once and cooked ahead what I needed for the soup right in the roasting pan with the chicken. Today I am making chicken vegetable and rice soup from yesterday’s chicken, vegetables, broth etc. I only added more bone broth from the chicken bones I boiled this a.m., added more kale and herbs and spices. Most of the soup work was done yesterday in the roasting pan!! Call me the lazy cook! My adult sons are coming this weekend and I will make them chicken sandwich (from the same Amish chicken) in a homemade herbed pita bread with the soup. (That pita recipe is also on my blog in an earlier post…it is DELICIOUS!) I will get three nice meals out of that one medium size chicken!! That is how I cook….Thanks for reading my blog!!


  2. Hi, Donna! I loved your post. We’re considering water-collection for our own homestead (when it finally happens), so I’m interested to hear how the rigid downspout holds up. Good luck!


    • Dawn, Thank you so much for your kind comments. I’m glad to share info. our water containment system. If you have not already discovered them, I do have a couple of other posts about how we built this system earlier in my blog. You should be able to do a “search” and locate them. If not let me know and I’ll find them and send you a link. We have been very happy with our system thus far. Everything made it through the first winter too without a hitch. At first we thought we would have to have a pump, which proved problematic for us, but then we found that if we put them up several feet high on wooden pylons or cement blocks the natural gravity allowed us to trickle enough water out for a slow and deep watering. We have filled our 275 gallon totes 2 1/2 times the past two fairly wet summers. I am so happy that that water has not been wasted!! Every though we are the Great Lakes State (MI) and water is still readily available here, I believe water is such a precious natural resource and should not be wasted!! Thank you so much for following/reading!! Feed free to spread the word about the totes too as I think other homesteaders/farmers/gardeners can easily make use of this free water. And NO electricity needed either!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll have to look and see if I can find those posts.

        We’re in SC and water is still readily available here as well, but like you, I don’t like to waste.


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