Wednesday, September 30, 2009

You Know Summer Has Ended When…

…you have to turn the furnace on because you’re freezing. We broke down sooner than we had planned but it’s really hard for T-Man to get up at 5am and try to shower and get dressed when you can practically see your breath in the bathroom. Of course we may be wussier than the next person because we haven’t yet adjusted back after living in the hot dry desert for the better part of 3 weeks. I’m wearing a jacket indoors even with the heat on. Perhaps I should go out in today’s sunshine and warm up. I need to plant my garlic anyhow.

Speaking of the garden, we worked for awhile in it yesterday afternoon after the rain and hail earlier in the day had given way to sun again. The soil was really moist and I managed to get 3 of the veggie beds planted with the winter cover crop of rye and legume mix. It keeps the soil from washing away in the winter rains and gives some nutrients for next year’s plants. Couldn’t finish the job because I still have things growing in the other beds so they’re not ready to seed yet. The broccoli and runner beans are still producing a little and there’s tons of mizuna, tah tsai, lettuce, parsley and a few leeks. The mache from spring has reseeded itself and there’s lots of little plants. The purple sprouting broccoli is doing well and will hopefully be strong enough to overwinter and give me early sprouts next spring. We also cleared out all the tomatoes from the greenhouse on Saturday and the green ones left should ripen on the counter.

It was a very productive year for the garden due to the record sunshine and hot weather. I saved seeds from the marigolds, coreopsis, woad and edamame soybeans. I’ll have some from the runner beans and curly parsley soon too.  These are the ones that are easy to save and aren’t hybrids. Every bit helps because buying lots of seeds can be pricey! I bought some new garlic from the farmer’s market earlier in summer and will plant 2 heads of the new and 2 of the old variety which should give me about 2 dozen plants. They seem to do very well in my garden now that I’ve discovered the purple hardneck types rather than trying to grow the white softnecks that the grocery store carries. Those need a hotter climate and never amounted to much here. Besides, the hardneck ones give me scapes! Extra value.

I’ve also been fighting with the evil squirrels for some of my walnuts. I was a bit embarrassed to see my doctor yesterday when he looked at my brown-stained hands and dyed fingernails! He knows me well though and laughed when I told him what happened and that I had washed dishes twice and had a shower and scrubbed my hands with the nail brush to no effect. And I still have a large bucket of nuts to shell. The chestnuts are falling also but so far they are the duds – the ones that didn’t get fertilized. The good ones should be coming soon. At least the squirrels don’t eat them, but the neighbours do!

So I really wanted to talk about the projects that I finished while I was away but I need to get busy outside before it starts raining again. They will keep. Along with some books I wanted to review. I’ll leave you with a photo of a small section of Utah’s “grand canyon” from Dead Horse Point State Park with the Colorado River at the bottom:

Canyon1I’ve never been to Arizona but this looks pretty awesome too, no? Surprisingly, it’s the same river that created the Grand Canyon further on. Busy little waterway, wasn’t it?

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