Thursday, November 11, 2010

Slowly, But Surely, The Garden Goes To Sleep

I'm just about ready to put the outside gardens to bed.  I'd hoped to have it done by now, but I fell a bit behind schedule due to some substitute teaching opportunities as a Home Ec teacher (which I LOVE).

Yesterday, I spent many hours moving tractor loads of leaves to the edges of the outside garden.  I put them in about two feet thick and they will break down to about six inches thick by spring.  I hope to cut back on the weed issues that I have.  Weeds are probably the largest issue when you garden organically - and inorganically too - but, I don't use any kinds of weed killers and must pull or mow everything by hand.  I have this mental picture of how the "perfect" garden should look.  Tidy... neat... unrealistic.....

Today I will plant winter rye as a cover crop/green manure.  It should get a couple of inch or so of growth on before the serious snow sets in and in the spring it will take off.  Then I'll rototill it under as a green manure for next year's garden.  I was going to plant winter wheat, but I stopped by our local extension office and he told me that this late in the year I should plant winter rye instead.

The chickens will be disappointed when I plant the rye.   During the day, I've been keeping them enclosed in a movable run due to my predator problem, but every evening I give them an hour or so before sunset when I open the run and let them free range.  I've been letting them get into the garden and dig up all the grubs and such they can find.  I'll close the garden to them once I plant the rye.  A flock of chickens can do some damage to newly planted rye seed!  Tonight I'll throw a few handfuls of scratch feed out in the empty pig pen to encourage them to grub around out there.  I hope, with their scratching through everything, the chickens will take care of any parasites the pigs may have left behind.

Speaking of pig, last night we ate our first pork chops from our own pigs.  I simply fried them with some olive oil, garlic and a little salt and pepper.  They were absolutely phenomenal.  Tender, flavorful.. they are such a far cry from pork chops you buy in the grocery store.  While we were eating them the whole family kept saying, "mmmm."  It was amazing how good a pork chop can taste!

Yesterday, while I was working in the garden, I saw a honeybee fly by!  "What are you doing out?"  I said to her.  I walked over, and sure enough, the ladies were flying in and out of the hive.  Near the bees' hive I have placed dog dish with a rock for them to sit on as their water dish.  It was loaded with bees taking the chance to come out of the hive to have a drink during our semi-warm weather.

1 comment:

  1. Sharon, I'd love to spend a day with you on your farm!! One day, a novice yet eager farm worker or two will show up on your door step and all you have to do is put us to work!!