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September 15, 2011 / 74

Winding Down and Winding Up

It’s that time of year… but then it seems that it’s ALWAYS that time of year. The time of year to do this, or that, to begin things, and to end things, and to prepare for other things.

Walking the garden fence in a light misty rain yesterday I discovered a couple of zucchini. That was a nice surprise, since I’d resigned myself to getting nothing from the cukes and zucchinis because we planted them so late.

I was going to listen for quail this morning at dawn… but because the interstate on the other side of the ridge is still closed just North of here, all the traffic has been detoured to Hwy 59 and I doubt I could hear much of anything because of the noise.

Temp got down to 36F last night. I did a quick walk-about but no signs of frost – and there was a sorta-stiff breeze so there wouldn’t be. Living on top of a hill has its advantages sometimes. I drew sneers from some when I predicted an early and hard winter a few months ago… the temp shouldn’t have got down to 36 for another month… And it’s supposed to be in the mid eighties next week… gotta love this Midwest weather!

The new strawberries are growing and doing fine. Looks like we’ll have a bunch of them next year! YEAAAA!!! We LIKE strawberries! I have to dig up about 25 or 30 of the old kind from the old bed to move to the new beds. So I’ll get to root around in the foxtail for that…

The summer wheat that I mowed to get at the rabbit is about 10 inches high – part of today’s plan is to ’till it in and then put a crapload of grass mulch on top of it, which I will till in next spring. Gonna sprinkle coffee grounds on it to increase the nitrogen levels, the wheat grass will add some green manure, and the mowed grass will help improve the tilth… of which there is none to speak of now. (We live on Loess clay.)

Over in the spring garden (Rabbitville) today or tomorrow is bean picking time again. Gonna sort them into can-ables and freezer-able. (Blanch and freeze.) And I’ll take a look at the soy beans and edamame. Should be starting to dry down soon. And maybe if I root around, I can find a few onions?

And the fall peas are growing – I have about 40 plants reaching for the leaning hog panel trellis. The beets are pretty much gone – if it ain’t rabbits, it’s grasshoppers. 😦 The carrots didn’t come up at all. Not one plant. Probably too hot. I’m down to 5 turnips. (Grasshoppers again.) But once again – the BEANS are doing FINE!!! Why do I get this feeling that I’m going to be sick of beans by spring? ;-D

And the pumpkins… my LORD the pumpkins! We have 50 gazillion of the little 3″ ones (Tiny Tims) that I was going to sell for fall decoration at farmer’s markets… but maybe not. And we have a suitably-sized-for-our-use crop of pie/canning pumpkins, and a couple of HUGE Cinderella pumpkins. For some reason about 2/3 of our Cinderellas just sort of melted down and left their seeds lying on the ground! What’s up with THAT? Never heard of pumpkins melting in the field. Maybe that’s a testament to how HOT and DRY it was this summer?

We’re kind of leaving the potatoes in the ground until later since we really have no good place to store them. We’re sort of digging them up as we need some. The original plan was to either build someplace or sell them at a farmer’s market… uh huh. (The best farmer’s market in this area is on the OTHER side of the flooded Missouri river.)

So much for this year.

For next year, we’re going to do some fall prep on the areas we’re going to plant next year – it will be a much smaller garden. And the squash and a small corn patch will be planted INSIDE the fence so the weeds don’t get it. The tomatoes will move inside of the fence – just for convenience of weeding. Don’t know how many potatoes we’ll plant next year.

By next fall we hope to have some machinery so we can at least mow our 25 acres of tillable ground – and maybe the next year we can raise our own corn for the chickens and any other livestock we acquire. Emily wants a donkey… I think it will be a PITA… but then what do *I* know? πŸ˜€

And Emily and I are practicing with our bows… if we get good enough shooting at the straw bales, maybe I’ll try for a deer this year.



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