Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekly Wrap Up: The Morning After The Frost

Yes, frost last night.  I'm sad, but not bawling my face off miserable like last year.  20 days later, and a good, warm growing season.  We had a good run.

Cucumbers- started late & after the horse trampled them.  Still did well.

Sparta Tomatoes ripening on the vine.
Cherry tomatoes.  Don't you just love how my plants are all monstrous?  Lol.  
A few we got to eat.

I covered about 6 tomato plants, so we may get a few more ripe ones yet.  We plucked the rest of the dead plants out and ended up with about 7 gallons of green tomatoes.  Green tomato salsa time.

Corn that I planted last year decided to make an appearance.

Including this oddball that really took off. 

Even two tiny ears on there.  Not sure how it managed to get pollinated.  It must have been really determined.

We are actually too far north to grow corn.  We're in a 2A growing zone, which is too short of a season, and not enough heat days.  So  it really is a wonder!

4 little heads of cabbage in all. 

A little pumpkin.
The smallest pumpkin plant, with the earliest pumpkin already turning orange.
Asparagus really springing back to life.
The biggest of the strawberry plants.
 I was very proud of my little garden when I took these pics.  Surprised with how well it all fared, despite my lack of attention, crummy soil, not getting enough planted, the goats, the horse...  Our best year yet, since we moved to the north.  There is hope for the future. 

This morning it's looking rather bleak and dismal.  Frost means it's time to dig up the horseradish, and start searching the woods for rose hips.  A few more gardening chores to be done still.

I finally found out what the stupid purple flowers are!  I was watching youtube videos about permaculture, and there it was...  Unbelievable!   Comfrey.  Organic gold.  Who knew?  So instead of trying to kill it now, I guess I will let it grow back to it's overzealous self, and then chop it down for fertilizer next fall.  I'm going to keep the tarps in behind the asparagus patches though, just so they don't get over crowded again.  So the question remains...  How is my soil so crappy with comfrey growing, and tons of manure?  What were the people before me doing???  I think they must have sprayed it with round up or something.  It's just too weird.  More hope for the future.

I transplanted the two apple trees that I had started from seed into the bit of wood behind the house.  Also dug up the last of the rhubarb from it's original location and moved it up there.  I'd like to transplant the black currants into the same area.  For now I'm going to leave the rest of the apple trees where they are, off the side of the garden.  They're pretty well established there, and I don't know how the forset gardening idea will work out yet.

I picked my tobacco and hung it in the work shop.  Online sources say it could be anywhere from 2 months to 6 years to air cure.  Simple enough.  Let it hang until it smells good.

Wednesday was the opening day of partridge season.  I've got two.  The first was an accident- I hit it with my car.  I stopped and picked it up anyway.  The second was hard to get.  I kept missing.  Badly.  Really badly.  I took 11 shots at one bird who was kind enough to sit in the middle of the road long enough for me to do it.  Not a hit!  I'm not that bad of a shot, really.  Dad decided to take a look at my gun for me, and found my scope was seriously out of whack.  All fixed up now.  One shot, and the second bird was mine!  Hopefully the rest of the season turns out well.  Waldo did an excellent job of running to fetch that bird too.  I'm very proud of him.  The first day was pretty miserable for him, with all of those gun shots, and no food.  I hadn't thought to bring any snacks for him.  We gun break a dog by firing a cap gun while they eat when they're pups.  Thus, loud bang = food.

The kitchen table is back in the kitchen.

I pickled beets.  Lots of beets.  32 jars, I think, but will do a proper count later.  Most of them were from my Mom's garden.  We dug ours up, but they were the size of golf balls, while Mom's were baseballs & bigger.

I made batches of grape jelly & strawberry jam, both with store bought produce.  The strawberries were on sale for $1.50/lb.  The same price as the pick your own place, (which was sold out before we ever got there) and I didn't have to pick them!  Imported from the U.S., of course, probably picked with slave labour, ridiculous food miles...  I should be ashamed, I know, but the fact is I would have either bought these strawberries, or paid three times as much for strawberry jam, with all of the same issues.  Hubby, the weirdo, only eats strawberry jam, despite all the delectable choices I offer him.  The grapes were better, Ontario grown.

A small batch of dill pickles, with my own cukes, and dill from the farmer's market.  I was in the city on Saturday, so I stopped in to see.  It's kind of funny.  No, it's really not.  There's this old man who has been at the farmer's market each year that we've lived here, and probably many years before that.  He's probably the one who's kept the market alive all these years.  He doesn't have a lot, but he brings what he has, and keeps it running.  His prices are fairly reasonable, too, as farmer's markets go.  Well, There are these new people.  A whole mob of them.  Tons of veggies.  Big, beautiful veggies.  Pretty, laminated signs.  Handing out flyers about the local food movement.  Their prices are through the roof!  Wow.  And people are flocking to them.  What's wrong with this picture?

Choices and selection are great.  More vendors are good.  More farmers are awesome.  But why do I feel like we're somehow cheating the old man?  I bought my dill from him.

The boys sailed all weekend.  Two very early morning trips into Timmins.  No sleeping in on the weekend.  I told them on Wednesday, Parade night, not to bother even thinking of walking out of there with plans for this weekend.  And if anyone plans to wake me up tomorrow, they had better be saying good bye, because they're moving out.  I need to recuperate from the school schedule.

School is going good for #1.  The homeschoolers haven't really started any book work yet.  They're learning from #1's homework.  #3 is also making great improvements in reading, since he finally spent his birthday money on a new computer game.  I love how they teach themselves when they really want to know.  He's read the equivalent of a novel in the past two weeks.  If I asked him to read a novel, he'd be freaking out- that's too much, that's too hard.  Oh, but learning the game, that's ok!! 

A good, busy week.  Time for a rest!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know much about corn, but I have never heard of one stalk being pollinated. Even a long row is not sufficient for pollination. Grown in square plots with more than one plant is the way I have heard planting should be done. Maybe you should save a few kernels of this hardy, determined, self-sufficient little plant. That way, next time you plant corn, it will be able to take care of itself, all on its own. I love the pictures on your blog.