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Raining Cats, Dogs, Chickens, and more…

October 25th, 2017

This past weekend, we prepared for rain, lots of rain! The forecast kept changing, it started off as an inch and a half, then it started climbing, and kept climbing. Last time I checked, we were closing in on 5″ of rain in 48 hours. This amount of rain is actually pretty normal for us in the fall. A few years ago we actually got over 12 inches of rain in one week.

It started raining around noon yesterday, and sprinkled off and on throughout the day/night. We awoke at 4:30 or so this morning to a great deluge outside and the power going out.

It’s been raining cats & dogs & pretty much every other animal all morning and is going to continue throughout the day & night. We really need the rain, so I’m actually happy. All the birds were given extra food yesterday so I wouldn’t have to go out in the rain to do it. It’s been really dry here in Maine this summer, this rain is much needed for refilling creeks and lakes. It’s also much needed to give me time to work indoors on office work and housework.

Do you live in a rainy area?

Seeking the Sun

October 24th, 2017

One of the things I notice most as the days get shorter is the angle of the sun. It streams in the living room windows and across the entire floor. Rooms that are dark in the summer, are bright this time of year. I also notice that I move about the house, working in spots of sun.

The cats also seek out the sun this time of year. Sun spots on the floor never fail to have a cat in them. The cats move about the house soaking it up wherever they can. There are different things I like about each season, fall is definitely the season of golden light for me.

Does the sun change in your area throughout the year? What season is your favorite?

Pumpkins, Pumpkins Everywhere

October 23rd, 2017

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I now grow my cucurbits (specifically pumpkins) in my compost pile (more on this method here). I learned of this method from the book ‘Gardens of Plenty’ by Marylynn Abbott and gave it a try. It worked beautifully and I have been utilizing this method ever since. If you remember, I saw this method in action in the garden she wrote about in this book when I visited the gardens at the Hagley Museum. This year, my pumpkins were grown in the giant compost piles I made last fall. I planted four vines figuring I’d get a pumpkin or two from each.

They grew like champs and quickly took over the compost pile and the lawn nearby (which wasn’t really a big deal because I wanted to get rid of the lawn to expand the garden. When the vines died back I noticed how many pumpkins were there.

After cutting all the pumpkins and carting them down to the house, I counted them up. There were 30 pumpkins, the smallest are fairly large, the largest pumpkins are HUGE and very heavy.

Now we have pumpkins sitting here, there, and everywhere throughout the house. The goal is to cure them a bit, so they will store better and be sweeter for eating. There is a pile of pumpkins in the office behind me, a pile on each side of the front porch, they are piled in the kitchen under the table, and on either side of the dresser in the dining room.

Some of them are also being used as fall decor by the front door, these will be cooked and fed to the chickens. Most likely, this winter, as I cook a pumpkin for us to eat, the birds will get at least half of it. There are so many pumpkins we could never begin to eat them all. Add to their numbers the glut of butternut squash I ended up with as well and we won’t be lacking vitamin A this winter.

What did you have a glut of this year? Do you grow pumpkins?

Friday Favorite: Getting Things DONE!!!

October 20th, 2017

This time of year I’m always on a mission to button up all the things I wanted to accomplish in the garden for the year. Sometimes, things have a way of getting put on the back burner during the summer. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, there are days when going for a kayak or relaxing with lemonade is more important than getting another garden chores finished. This time of year, when time looms heavy on the horizon, it’s much easier to get things finished.

Yesterday, I was able to finish planting and mulching the ‘Green Mountain’ hedge. The goal for this hedge is to be a wind break for the main garden. I will let it grow about 3 feet tall. Along the other sides of the garden, I’m planning a blackhaw viburnum hedge, which will be grown to about 8 feet. Hopefully, these two hedges will help with the wind and snow drifting in the main garden. It’s nice to have this project finished, now I’m debating whether or not I should go ahead and order my bare root viburnums and add them to my list of fall garden chores…

What are you accomplishing in the garden this week?

A Frosty Morn

October 19th, 2017

On Tuesday morning, we work up to our first frost of the season. It was 29 degrees in our garden, frost blanketed parts of the gardens and the lawn. All the tender vegetables and plants were hit, which is always a good thing in my mind.

At times, I have a difficult time clearing out plants that are still growing, blooming, and producing. Frost makes it easy to start clearing the garden, building compost piles, and getting on with putting the garden to bed for the winter.

Yesterday afternoon, I spent an hour or so clearing dahlias, tomatoes, peppers, nasturtiums, and all the other tender plants from the main garden. Today I’ll plant a cover crop in their stead, which should give it a bit of time to get established to cover the soil this winter. Luckily, there are still lost of crops in the garden that actually appreciate the cold weather. There is still broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, lettuce, spinach, and endive. We should be eating fresh vegetables from the garden for another month or two at least.

Frost used to be a bittersweet time in my mind, meaning the end of the gardening year, though now I’m learning to appreciate the part if plays in the cycle of the garden. I’m ready to hibernate for the winter, to a winter of sewing, crochet, and reading.

What’s happening in your garden weatherwise this week?

Seeds and Sundries
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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.