Friday, August 31, 2018

Winding Down the Garden Year

Oh, my, how the year has flown. My good intentions to post here more often went by the way. It just seems to take more energy and time to get things done!

The garden year started off uncertain as the weather seemed confused. Cold, then hot, then cold again. Only days before I took this picture we had a good 2' of snow on the ground. You could not tell there were garden boxes in the yard. Then it got hot and all the snow vanished.

I got everything planted by the new moon in June, and by the end of July the garden was growing well.

These were my four patty-pan summer squash plants from one of the garden boxes in the back yard. I could not believe how well they produced. I had a bumper crop of cucumbers this year, too.

Lara was excited for us to finally get to the farmers market in Park Falls. It really is fun to go to the  market! It's been so nice to renew acquaintances with the other vendors and to meet old and new customers.

Sadly, the deer devoured my big garden over at Dad's again, and I firmly resolve to get a fence erected around that garden spot. I lost all my winter squashes, corn, pumpkins, melons and tomatoes. They also munched to death the four apple and pear trees I started in a new orchard. So, enough is enough. Next year is sauerkraut year. I plan to grow lots of cabbage and I don't want the deer to get it.

I did notice a curious increase in customers wanting to buy finished, value-added products over raw produce. As a grower this disturbs me. I would much rather see people buy the raw produce and prepare it themselves. 

Since we did not have much to sell, we are finished going to market for the year. I am working hard to clean up the garden boxes and work my way through the forest garden. It looks like I may actually get ahead of my pruning and trimming tasks before the cold weather sets in again.

I have started red and black currant cuttings in the green house and am trying to see if I can get plum and peach trees to sprout from seed. I also have several kinds of hot peppers I started from seed in the greenhouse, but they are coming on so late that I fear I will not get any peppers from them.

Out in the forest garden I am enjoying my first plum harvest. I have enough plums to make a batch of plum jam. It isn't much, but I am so happy my trees are getting old enough to bear fruit. The hazelnuts look great, the new row of black elderberry plants took off grandly, and while the black and red currants didn't bear much fruit because they need to be pruned, they are also healthy. The rhubarb and horseradish in the hugelkultur bed are massive, and the grapes and hops are happily filling the trellis fence. Only one of the grape vines bore fruit this year, but it, too, was enough to me to make at least one batch of jam. I will be ecstatic when the apples and pears begin to fruit. 

Lately we have had a lot of rain and there is flooding both north and south of us, but thankfully we have been spared any trouble. Dad is still at the farm and doing well.  I am still on my diet and half-way to my goal. I am determined to reach my goal!

Canning, cutting a trail out to Tom's deer stand, and cleaning out the chicken coop to ready it for the winter are next on my "To Do" list. Might was well "make hay while the sun shines," as the adage goes.

Hopefully I'll post again soon. Take care!