Sunday, September 30, 2012

A Full and Satisfying Day

Tomorrow it will be October, but our beautiful Indian summer weather is hanging on. It still has barely rained since mid-July, and the days are lovely and warm, although the nights are finally getting chilly. Matt and I made the most of this beautiful Sunday, working full-out until well after dark. I got my homework done in the morning, while Matt tended the rabbits and began pruning the apple trees. He got both done by early afternoon, and they look great. The Asian pears still haven't ripened completely, so that one will get pruned later, after it is picked.

I messed around the yard and garden, weeding and picking up fallen fruit under the trees for the chickens, and cutting back the banks of lemon balm and oregano against the garden fence and under the Asian pear. It looks much more tidy now, and the chickens appreciated getting the big pile of cuttings to scratch through.

I took a little survey around the garden, to see how the fall crops and cover crops were getting on.


Red clover coming up among the green onions.

I cleaned out the chicken coop and added all of the dirty straw to the compost pile, and filled the henhouse with fresh clean straw. Esther seems pleased about it.

While Matt finished up the pruning, I got a baking of bread into the oven, some dishes washed, and a little bouquet put together for the birthday of a special young kiddo. Making an appearance at her party, and then picking up some groceries, gave us a quick break in the middle of the afternoon.

After we got home, we changed back into our work clothes and headed to the community garden. We dug up the potatoes there, and sadly got a paltry harvest. Well, that garden has a healthy gopher population, so growing any root crop there is a crapshoot. Of course, that didn't stop us from planting more root veggies. I pulled up all the bean plants that were no longer producing, and planted in a couple rows of turnips and beets.

Working in the beautiful evening light, Matt planted chard and more radishes, and field peas where I had pulled up the remaining carrots.

Elsewhere in the plot:

Matt transplanted the leeks in on Friday, and they seem to be acclimatizing pretty well. 

Lots of little parsnips to perk us up late in the winter!

Radishes and spinach and self-seeded nasturtiums. 

Back at home, we raced against daylight (when did the days get so short?!!) and dug up almost all the rest of the potatoes growing around the front yard. We could leave them where they are, but we want to plant in more winter crops, and also cover crop some of the space where the soil isn't so great. We have already used most of the All-Reds and Yukon Golds- a lesson to us to plant potatoes rotationally next year, so that we still have plenty come fall (all of these ones were planted at the end of March, and we could easily harvest those and plant a second batch in June and still have a full fall crop). So we dug all the Austrian Crescents, to put into storage in the garage. The Yellow Finns from the community garden are in the fridge, but the A.C.s grew very abundantly, and we had enough to go through with our experiment of packing them in damp sand in bins in the garage. We did the same with our meager carrot harvest. There are so few at this point that we could easily keep them inside, but we want to see how they will keep for a few months in the sand. We also have two more smaller batches of carrots still growing.

There are still a couple potato plants yet to be dug, but it was completely dark by the time we got these finished, and moved into the garage to pack them into their bins. Then it was inside to get dinner, eating at 9 PM. Nothing beats a long day of good satisfying physical work, followed by a chard and carmelized onion quiche.

It's back to the grind of work and school tomorrow (Matt starts his new job tomorrow!), but we're feeling pretty good tonight, about our wonderful harvest this year, about so many fall and winter crops already planted and growing while this warm weather remains, and of how it feels to work so hard and be so exhausted in such a good way. I wish I could feel like this at the end of every day.


Sam said...

Good luck with the new job tomorrow Matt!

Not only do we have the same basket but we have the same gloves Liz!

It is strange seeing you planting out winter crops as I spent the weekend harvesting mine and planting summer ones. Enjoying your blog as always, Sam xox

FlowerLady said...

What a wonderful post. It is great seeing the rewards of your labor and how your gardens are doing.

Have a great week ~ FlowerLady