Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Summer Fading Fast

The nights are definitely cold now. When I get up in the morning the fog is heavy in the marshes and my Vermont Country Store brass thermometer reads in the upper 30s - low 40s. The winter birds like nuthatches and chickadees are more prevalent at the bird feeders. I don't see the hummingbirds any more. And, of course, the leaves are changing their colors almost as you look at them. With the seeming collapse of the world's financial markets into BGD (Bottomless-Global-Depression), I decided to soothe my psyche and work in my field communing with Nature.

(I had a great time until Our-Government-At-Work decided to chemtrail the sky and spoil the view -- I guess The-Powers-That-Be are worried about farmers with pitchforks?)

Today I finished tilling the weeds under in the hops section that I began yesterday. Then I tilled the section next to it. I still need to do the section next to the perennial bed, and that should take me a whole day to do as it is the largest of my growing sections. I also checked the fruit trees and tilled the row I turned over a few weeks ago where I will put the plum trees. I think tomorrow I will dig the individual tree holes for them and the two apple trees that will be coming from St. Lawrence Nursery. I'll put the dirt from the holes in the high tunnel so it doesn't freeze. I'll be wrapping the fruit tree trunks with bark protectors before I know it.

There were some more tomatoes turning red in the high tunnel that I picked and took back to the house. I will have a great time canning the tomatoes when they are all ripe. I hope I can keep the plants in the high tunnel alive at least until the majority of tomatoes on them are sure to ripen.

I brought the camera with me out to the field to try and catch some of the Fall colors.

I also took some pics around the house.

My kindling box made from fallen tree branches isn't quite finished, but I like the rustic look of it. I'll cover it with a tarp when it's done to help keep out rain and snow. The picture with the wooden swing is a view of part of the front yard from our front steps. Tom's wood pile looks pretty good -- you should see how much wood he has stashed in the garage!

I am already thinking about next year. Despite our economic free-fall, I made a couple of seed/stock orders. I bought heirloom potato onions, Egyptian Walking onions, and golden shallots from Jung; and I found a great tomato seed company: where I found some neat heirlooms. I bought Indian Moon, an orange tomato heirloom from the Navajo people; Green Gage, a yellow cherry tomato but I forget where it comes from; Limmony, a beautiful large yellow variety from Russia; Large Red, the US commercial variety dominant before the Civil War; Red Brandywine; Italian Tree, another great-tasting, all purpose red variety that supposedly bears a full bushel of fruit per plant (I couldn't resist that hook!); and some more of the excellent Cherokee Purple that I tried for the first time this year. Lastly, from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co., I bought Golden Giant amaranth, more Bull's Blood beets and St. Valery carrots, Di Firenze sweet fennel, Ground Cherry (husk tomato), Wonderberry (huckleberries), Early Purple Vienna kohlrabi, Giant Musselburgh leeks, my favorite Forellenschluss lettuce, and some more lettuces to try -- Rouge d'Hiver, Dark Lollo Rossa, and Rough Grenobloise; more Perkins Long Pod okra and Chinese Pak Choy; French Breakfast, White Hailstone, and Philadelphia White Box radishes; Laurentian rutabegas, and Navet des Vertus Marteau turnips. These, along with the various squashes, cabbages, and corn seeds I already have, should make for a great garden next year. I can't wait to sit down and work out the garden plan.

Did I tell you I bought from the Weideger's Au Naturel Farm ( their hoop house growing book, Walk to Spring? That is a great book! I feel more confident about growing in my high tunnel already! And from I bought Herman Beck Chenoweth's Free Range Poultry Production and Marketing set (production manual and accompanying video). I can't wait to work up my poultry plan for next year. If you want to sell chickens or turkeys, this is the manual to get.

With Mercury getting to go retrograde, it will be a good time to finish up tasks that I haven't been able to get to, and to do more research on the Local Food Atlas. I feel bad that I didn't do more work on it this summer, but I was just not mentally there, if you know what I mean. Anyway, we should have at least two more days of nice weather and I plan to get as much work done as possible.

We heard from Sarah and she seems to be doing fine. She has not received the majority of the boxes we sent her, but I think they will reach her soon.

Eddy goes Friday to see the doctor for his pre-op appointment before getting his ingrown toenails fixed. I will be getting him new shoes! Lara is doing well, and Tom is ok; the interferon makes him very tired. I am doing well on my diet and may just make my goal of 10 more pounds lost by the end of this month. I am very proud of myself! I can actually fit into my size 16 jeans. If I can get down to a size 14 before the end of the year, I will buy myself something nice as a reward.

It is getting late so I think I will go to Facebook and try to figure out how that works. Take care and keep your chins up -- when the economy finally hits bottom, it can only go up!

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