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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Extreme Gardening

Extreme, as in extremely late! The combination of schedule, wet weather and long distance gardening has resulted in a very neglected garden. I haven't been back since my last collection of produce around the first hard frost. Yesterday was clear, we were available and winter will be upon us soon. Time to git er done! I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by the size of the job and the two inches of snow which had fallen overnight! But the sun eventually peeked out, we had the first snow ball fight of the year and I had some helpers as you can see! I removed cartloads of slimy tomato plants, swiss chard (note to self- still looking good after repeated freezes), corn stalks, a couple of forgotten mouse chewed turnips and other large vegetation. The girls loved swinging the machete and jumping on the few squishy pumpkins, they also had a short game of batting practice with some immature squash! It was muddy, cold work. (Second note to self- pull this stuff out before it gets slimy--gross) I was unsure about how to go about putting the garden 'to bed' for the winter. Although this is a temporary garden for me-hopefully I will use it only one more year before having my own (!!!)- I wanted to try a no till method. I have 6 beds of 3x15 feet in addition to a 2 foot bed all along the outside fence, then three larger areas where I planted potatoes, winter squash and tomatoes this year. I did not plan to till the 6 beds- I wanted to treat them like permanent beds. What I did this fall was to pull out the large woody plant material, spread a 6-10 inch layer of mowed leaves/grass over the bed and turned it into the soil with a fork, about 6 inches deep. My rationale was to incorporated the organic matter into the deeper layers of soil and give the worms some time this fall and again next spring time to work on it. The soil in this part of the county in very clay-like. I did manage to get 4/6 beds handled in this way. I will try to get back out again to put more leaves on the other two but NOT turn it in- maybe I will not notice a difference and won't have to work so hard! :) Three of six done! The tomato waste yard-makes me very sad, but think of all those heirloom volunteers next year!

Tom spent a good long time in the woods recharging his batteries, scouting a location for his deer stand. He was happy about the snow fall and was able to track several groups of deer-his tally was 2 grouse, 6 wood cocks, and 5 deer sighted-pretty good for one morning! Then we had some time to play too-the girls headed to the slough to play in puddles. (I just sat on a rock-too tired to move!) They created paths and made snowballs to float in the water, oops water goes over the tops of boots! Thank goodness I know these girls and have extras packed for the ride home! Snow ball incoming!! This video makes me the end you will clearly hear my 7 year old say 'Oh Shit', cracks me up every time.


Ruralrose said...

don't your kids sound happy!? could you be any more worn out?! you sure did give it your all this year, for both your present responsibilities and the future, i know you can look back at the summer with great pride!! still waiting to hear the good news too . . . peace for all

Sue said...

It's a tough job, but a great life, isn't it?
My kid sang the "F" song.....and all my ex and I could do was laugh......not our greatest parenting moment, but a funny memory!