A Few More Hauls

Picture 296Picture 307Today, while some may be out filling their bags with candy and goodies, we will be out gathering a bit more of that last late harvest. Last night we got our first real hard frost. We did cover everything, but it’s time….time to bring most of what’s left inside for winter storage. The pile of peppers were collected from the hoop house and larger cold frames. The beets have been growing in the main garden and doing well to tolerate light frosts, now they’ll come in. The winter squash that has been curing in the greenhouse will be put into wooden boxes and stored upstairs in our coolest room ( actually about 50 degrees and dry, which squash prefer). I think our final squash count was around 100. A collection of butternut, buttercup, delicata, and some smaller blue hubbard. Last to come in will be the cabbage, the kale and chard, and some last rows of spinach. On Monday, the larger flock of sheep will come home to their winter quarters. Having things ( animals and vegetables) tucked in and close to the homestead during the winter months make tending to chores much easier. After all the work today……a trick or treat candy bar would be nice!

It’s Not Over Quite Yet

Picture 194Our days are busy with cleaning up garden beds, we are still planting some last minute things in the display beds, and garlic will go in over the next two weeks. We refuse to let anything get caught in one of those early autumn frosts. So, each night Rick checks his trusted weather source for temperature dips, and we make our evening rounds covering the last of the vegetables hoping to eek out a few more days ( weeks) before we really have to call it a season. At night our gardens look a bit like a Halloween display, sheets and burlap ghosts lay still around the farm, the last of the chard, winter squash, broccoli, and cabbages tucked warmly underneath. As the winter squash fully ripens, we haul them in and place them in the greenhouse to cure. In early August we feel almost an overwhelming burden with all there is to pick and preserve. Now, knowing our short growing season is nearing its end, we treat the gathering of this last bounty with a new reverence. Oh, is that a little zucchini still clinging to its vine? How delightful. A few more sprigs of basil that have escaped the nightly frost? Bring it in, more pesto! What’s still left to pick in your gardens? Picture 192