Autumn is moving right along here in the Northwoods where the leaves are falling like rain and at night you can hear the wind rustling the tree tops. When the sun goes down, it gets cold, and the fog builds in the marshes even before dark falls with ever increasing earliness. I've been busy. Sometimes I wish I had a clone to help me keep up with all the work.
Today I went to see Bernie at Seed and Feed and loaded up on chicken supplies -- feed, grit, oyster shell, wood shavings, and cracked corn. I shoveled out the coop and put down fresh bedding. I don't know which of the chickens is worse -- the nosy and underfoot hens or the ever crowing (soon to be in the freezer) roosters! Anyway, I felt better having the coop ready for the cold weather. I have a feeling that one day soon we're going to wake up and instead of Fall, it will be winter -- just like we never had a summer this year.
I turned over two of the garden boxes and added the poultry bedding to them. They will be ready for planting in a week or so -- I'm waiting for the Kettle River garlic I ordered from Ronniger's to come. The lettuce in Box 2 is still setting seed, so I'll turn over that box when I harvest the seed. That box already has the perennial garden sorrel and Egyptian Walking Onions, so I will add shallots and potato onions to fill it up. I will plant spinach, carrots, bunching onions (did I say I like onions?) and maybe some lettuce to try overwintering. When all the leaves are off the trees, I'll layer on a heavy mulch and come next spring we'll see what we get. We had so much snow last year that keeping the snow off the covered boxes became too much work, and I was afraid of falling, so I will just mulch the boxes and let the snow cover them.
I spent some time in the field yesterday harvesting the Cascade hops and picking huckleberries in the high tunnel. It took me longer than I thought it would, but I have a nice harvest of Cascade hops, and I must have at least a half gallon of huckleberries with the bushes still nearly full. I collected the last of the cucumbers and discovered that I had no sweet potatoes. I think I will leave the sunflowers in the field for the critters. I cut the amaranth tops and have the heads drying in the garage in brown paper bags -- I hope that's the correct way to harvest the seed; I was afraid that if I left the seed heads in the field that I would lose the tiny seeds. And I plan to make wreaths out of the hops bines; I'd like to do that tomorrow if the weather co-operates. There's so much to do!
I went with Tom and Ed and dug up the rest of his potatoes. We got three more bushels. I harvested the last of the cabbage, too, and Tom went through his corn patch and filled a bushel basket with the best formed ears. I think I will try to overwinter a couple of the best cabbage heads and re-plant them for seed next spring. I don't have much luck freezing corn, so I think I'll try canning some and see what happens. Dad was there and he looked good. As usual, he didn't want any help with his wood pile, and he didn't want any more food. At least I know he's eating well.
Well, it's getting late and I'm beat so I'll catch you later. Be well!