Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm In the Garden

The fall weather has been glorious so you can find me most days..
I put this sign out by the front door when I'm working in the garden so people know where to find me! It works great.

We are getting beautiful color here this fall. The winds have been calm so we are enjoying the color on the trees unlike most years when the winds blow all the leaves off quickly. I can't imagine why Nebraska doesn't have wind farms dotting the state since we are one of the windiest states in the country! But I digress, here's what I see from my windows...
 The ash trees are some of the most beautiful. Of course, Autumn Joy (perfectly named) sedums which surround our cottage and burgundy mums give depth to the fall colors...
Autumn Joy sedums

I've been in the garden cleaning and getting things ready for the winter. I got the potatoes in very late so I'm just harvesting them, one tank is complete and the other isn't quite ready yet, still a little green. I used the Ruth Stout method of salad gardening where I planted the potato starters on top of the soil and covered with 6" of mulch. They are so easy to harvest and I didn't have any pest problems.

The plants that are 'done' such as the potatoes and tomatoes are going into the compost bins. I use the mower with the catcher to shred the plants so they decompose into compost more quickly. It works beautifully. The greens from the garden, grass clippings and kitchen scraps along with chicken manure make wonderful black compost for my plants. I'm always excited to see how it looks in the spring. The soil in all the beds is getting better every year with the addition of homemade compost.

mowing the tomato plants into shreds
 I made more marinara sauce which is a winter staple.
Garlic is planted now for spring and summer harvest. I had a great crop this year so my confidence is up and  I'm devoting an entire tank-bed for next year. I use alot of garlic in cooking so it is great to raise my own.

I have planted several varieties of hardneck garlic this year, all from Seed Savers Exchange:
Chesnok Red (purple striped paper with red cloves from Russia) - sounds exotic and delicious. Best for roasting and baking;
Samarkand aka Persian Star (good all purpose, pleasant with a spicy zing from Uzbekistan);
Erik's German White (white wrappers with red-purple skinned cloves, easy to peel) which is one of my favorite and 3rd year of growing;
German Red (purple-brown clove wrappers, easy to peel, strong full bodied flavor, excellent keeper).
Birds are starting to bunch up so we know it's fall. My feeders and birdbath are getting lots of action every day. Today I had to fill the birdbath four times due to all the bathing. What a great sight especially when five or six birds are splashing at the same time. It looks and sounds so joyful!

I hope you are enjoying your fall season,

1 comment:

Katie Cameron said...

I love the visuals you create here. Your life seems quite wonderful and I'm a bit envious.