Today after lunch I went out to the field. I collected the hops bines and put them in the back of the truck. Then I harvested nearly a whole ice cream bucket (gallon size) of calendula seed. There are still quite a few plants blooming and I think I'll pick the blossoms and make some calendula oil to keep as a medicine. I was also able to harvest a good quantity of chive seed from out of the high tunnel. I think I'll start a bunch of new chive clumps to sell next Spring at the farmers market. I have a 50' row of mammoth dill, but I don't think I'll get any seed from it, which means I have to buy more seed for next year. Rats!
I tried patching the ends on the high tunnel again, this time with more feed sacks and Gorilla Tape. I'll see how everything holds up tomorrow. Inside the high tunnel I pulled down all the pole bean and tomato trellises, and I started piling up all the garden debris. Now, an interesting thing I noticed this past winter when I waded through the snow to check on the high tunnel was how many earthworms congregated in the ground under high tunnel. I figure it must have something to do with the fact that the ground temperature under the tunnel isn't as cold as the ground under the snow outside the tunnel. Anyway, I like using earthworms to fertilize the soil, so today I decided to dig a trench down the middle of the high tunnel and fill it with the garden debris. When I am finished turning the ground over and burying all the debris, I'll wet it all down so it starts composting, and let the worms feast and break it all down over the winter. (I wouldn't do this if any of my plants were diseased.) Around about the end of February I'll take the dog with me out to the tunnel and let her root out the voles while I check the earthworm population and maybe plant some seeds.
Some things in the high tunnel are still going strong. I am leaving the calendula that is still blooming and garden huckleberries grow as long as they can. I've already harvested a good half gallon of huckleberries. The catnip looks very happy, and I think I'll dig up the stray plants and put them all together in a corner. The rest of the herbs along the edge of the tunnel look fine, and I'll rake up some grass and cover them for the winter.
I had no sweet potatoes when I forked over a couple of plants, so I pulled all those up, and I yanked out all the eggplants. Of those, only the Turkish Orange bore any fruit even though it didn't mature. I did lift the Lemon hot pepper and Thai/Laos hot pepper plants and put them in pots. I'm going to try to overwinter them in the house. It feels pretty good getting the high tunnel organized. If the weather is ok tomorrow, I'll start cleaning up the hops section. It would be nice if I could finish cutting the grass in the small meadow and the north end of the field. I really need to get to the orchard and check on my poor, deer devastated fruit trees, too.
Here's a pic of my arena of action for today:
Those fall colors are fading fast! Shortly after I took this picture the sky got dark and it started to rain a cold Autumn rain. I packed up the truck and just got back to the house when it started to hail, not bad, but enough to say, "That's enough for today." Geez, before you know it, we'll be stoking the wood stove! (Good thing I got the wood stacks covered with tarps so the wood stays dry.) :)