Thursday, October 31, 2019

October's Garden (2019)

The words to describe this month in the garden would be burned-out.  The drought took the wind out of my sails and I am tired of gardening.  Knowing how much we need fresh vegetables during the winter spurred me on to plant anyway.  My heart wasn't in it but it was a chore needing to be done.

The first two rows will be hoop houses as earlier decided in the spring.  As soon as the drought broke, the seedlings which had been sprouted in cups on the front porch were transplanted.  There has been plenty of rain since then.

 All the tomatoes on the short fence have been picked.  Tonight the temperature is forecast to drop to 26 degrees (F) for three nights in a row.  That will end the tomatoes and all the other summer vegetables.  My hope was that winter would be late this year, but it isn't happening.

Behind the tomato fence is the section of the weird stuff.  All that is left is the big bunch of lemongrass Reese gave me.  Yesterday it was chopped down and is being dehydrated for winter tea.

The front middle of the garden will have three hoop houses.  The first row is planted on the right side of the picture but the seedlings are still small.  Next is the row of assorted unknowns and left of them is a row of collard greens planted about two weeks ago.  Those seeds just sprouted and I have no idea if they will be able to survive.  

Throwing out the seeds from my bag of "assorted unknowns"  in August was a good idea.  They needed constant watering during the dry spell.  I was willing to do the hard work so we would have something to eat this winter if my other seedlings failed due to the drought.  The vegetables are doing fantastic and are larger than I have ever seen. This is something I will do again.  

The row of tomatoes on the fence shaped like a scroll was a failure and it won't be done that way again.  Next year I might put the fence in an "L" shape or something else, don't know yet.  Scrolling both ends in a spiral made it hard to reach inside to harvest.  A success was planting winter squash along the bottom of the fence so they could run along the ground under the tomatoes tied to the fence.

The Tahitian Butternut squash plant growing under the tomatoes on the fence was almost dead when the rains returned.  It sprang back to life and began blooming again.  It is forming squash just in time to be killed by frost.  What a rotten year this has been for squash.

These will be short hoop houses in the back of the garden.  The bush Lima Beans in the very far back toward the field fence will not make it through tonight's hard frost.

In the back of the garden, under the trees are some winter radishes and turnip greens.  Many seeds were planted in the dust but only these few survived.

Everything has been planted except for this tray of winter lettuce still sitting on the front porch.  Other than that, all I plan to do this month is harvest greens and clean up the dead summer plants...or not.  I might not do anything at all!

Additional Links:
Next Month's November Garden (2019)
Last Month's September Garden (2019)
Last Year's October Garden (2018)
October's Garden (2017)
Through the Garden Gate

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Last Straw...Hat!

"Hello.  I see you watching while I work in the garden." I said.  "You are nagging me to stop weeding, grab some of the forbidden tender grass, hand-feed you and rub your nose. You are spoiled rotten.  Alright, one more time and then I must get back to work."

"OUCH! Don't pull my straw hat off my head!  Give it back!" 

"It's mine now," said the spoiled rotten horse.

"It tastes delicious - aged straw with a hint of cherry blossom shampoo and honeysuckle hairspray." 

"Munch, munch, munch."

"Give me my hat back!" I demanded.

"It is a fashionable hat, the sun is bright, no one wants old-age wrinkles so I will wear it."

It isn't what you wear, but how you wear it."

"Hey Mom, this is my new look. The human fell for the sad, hungry eyes trick, bent over too close to the fence and now the straw hat is mine.  Don't I look avant-garde?"

"No.  You look ludicrous.  Why would any self-respecting clotheshorse want to parade around with dinner on top of their head?  Straw is for eating - not wearing."


Trailblazing new fashion trends is not easy.

Additional Links:
Introducing Our New Roommates
The Stork Paid Us a Visit
The Stork Returns for Another Visit

Friday, October 25, 2019

And I'm Back...

We finally have internet again and are no longer living in the horse and buggy days.  We survived without it just fine, well, almost.  Not being able to know the weather forecast drove me crazy until Dustin suggested I use my phone.  Duh!  After I realized I could check it, I no longer cared.  When is the weatherman ever right anyway? Bill missed reading the news but nothing in the world has really changed.  Democrats blame the Republicans, Republicans blame the Democrats, and the Independents blame everyone. The one thing I did realize was how much I have come to enjoy my online friends.

"What's wrong with horse and buggy days?"

Tomorrow on October 26th, it will be my third year blogging anniversary.  Looking back over these years, the changes in my life have been drastic.  I can't even begin to imagine how the future might unfold.  I suppose that is life, always changing.  Anyway, my plans are to continue muddling along as best as I can and welcome everyone to join me.

"Except for cats - they aren't invited,"  said Scooter 

Additional Links:
And So It Begins... (My very first post 2016)
And So It Continues...(2017)
And On We Go...(2018)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

No Internet

We are without internet for awhile. They are doing work on the lines so I won't be able to post for another week ☹️. I miss everyone!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Amish, Before and After the Drought

It rained yesterday!   We had over four inches (and still counting) of slow drizzling rain!  I declare the drought over!

Before the rain arrived, I griped, complained, and whined every second as I stood and watered my garden in the blazing heat.  However, there are those who suffered more than I.  My livelihood doesn't depend on my farm. This was my local Amish community earlier this summer right before the drought began.

One-room schoolhouse

Then the rains stopped and the drought began. It has been a month since I last visited.  The farmer from whom I purchase milk had a sick cow, the others were hardly producing so my orders were canceled until yesterday.  This is how the land looked. 

It was misting as I traveled and no one I met seemed to mind getting wet or standing in a puddle.  The rain was a welcomed relief.

We haven't had any frosts or even one cold night.  The devastation was caused by high temperatures and no rain.

This was a productive pumpkin field earlier.  Now it is barren except for weeds and an occasional lopsided pumpkin left to rot.

Their tomato plants looked as bad as mine.

Few houses were selling produce.  It was being kept to feed their big families. 

I suppose I can sigh and say what all gardeners say after a dismal season, "There is always next year."

Additional Links
Amish, Buying Fresh Milk
Amish, Summertime