Closing up, pulling up roots, bringing in the worm bin, emptying pots. Now that we're reaching the end of farmers markets, and our garden beds turn withered, where will your food be coming from?
I, for one, spend a lot more time nesting and working at my kitchen stove - stirring stews and soups, roasting root veggies, warming my hands over the flame...One last gasp of canning this weekend cuz nothing else is fitting in my freezer!
We're still picking tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and zucchini from our garden, but pulling out the plants that are spent. Getting ready for the rainy season. Giving the chicken coop a good cleaning out before winter. Today I'm just looking at knitting and crocheting patterns to start some winter projects and looking for a good deal on fire wood.
We're just getting started planting tomatoes, peppers, cabbage, lettuce, peas. We've already picked broccolli which overwintered. We had a late frost mid Oct and unfortunately we may not get any cherries or peaches this year or very, very few. Grapes have taken a setback as well but new leaves coming out again. Same with our chestnut. This is our labour day weekend in New Zealand and true to its reputation it's proving to be very nearly the start of summer and the last freeze date (let's hope). We can actually get through the evening now without lighting the fire. Time to start collecting that firewood for next year!
Our Fall to Winter transistion begins with clearing the garden of any lingering veggies...then we start turning all those apples into yummy applesauce and slices for treats in the winter. We clean the garden of any remaining vines or plants. We also make sure that we have our wood supply in order. Hoses get put away along with the multitude of kids toys, and lawn deocorations. We will enjoy more homemade bread, more soups, more goodies in general. We will sit around in the evenings with a toasty fire keeping us warm and build memories together.
We wrapped up our garden for winter and brought in the green tomatoes. It's doubtful we'll be able to save many of them, though. Next year! Fred is hoping to get a last load of llama poop on the garden and dig it under before the ground freezes. We've been buying pumpkins and apples from the local orchard for pies, and apple cider -- my favourite! We have a freezer full of fruits and veggies (although not quite as full as the last couple years) and some ketchup and relish canned from the garden's fare. I think we're all set to buckle down on some indoor projects. My indoor plants are in need of much work!
It's been raining constantly here in NE Iowa along with morning frost so it's very depressing to look outside at the wilted garden we've been unable to clean off. My saddest moment was picking the last of the fresh produce before the first hard frost. There is a huge plot of parsely though that refuses to give up the fight! However, I have two flats of green tomatoes in the basement that will keep us going until Thanksgiving. My winter is spent cooking soups and homemade breads as well as catching up on indoor home projects. I have a bathroom to wallpaper and a recipe book cupboard to make in my kitchen. Other than that, two jobs keep me pretty busy.
Michelle from Iowa
Since we are out here in Southern California, we are just transitioning into winter crops. All the tomato plants are pulled out and the cages stacked, the hot peppers are just coming on full force and we have planted micro greens, carrots, cilantro, turnips, cabbage and all things leafy. The living room in our tiny bungalow houses the avocado harvest, grape harvest and the oncoming persimmons. Burlap bags of avocados, stacked. Friends and neighbors come by to fill bags. Avocado smoothies, avo mousse, guac, - what else!!!
Congratulations - Bowen Agricultural Alliance! You're the winner of "Small-Scale Grain Raising" by Gene Logsdon. Use it in good health! Please send an email to Cornelia at FarmAid dot org with your mailing address.
(The winner was chosen using the random number generator. Only the first post of multiple posts by the same member was considered, and my initial post was not considered.)
I'm canning LOTS of food this year, and since I live close to the city, I've been scoping out my new apartment for as much dry, cool storage space I can - I'll be hitting the last of the farmer's markets soon in order to gather root vegetables for storage over the winter (I live in New England, so no growing season during the dead of winter here). I'm also planning on re-teaching myself how to knit (for the third time!) in order to make hats and scarves for myself and friends. Although maybe crocheting would be better, so I can make blankets and throws for the living room to snuggle up in when we're watching movies this winter.