Garden Daybook 11/1/12

Sandy has stripped the last of the leaves from the maples and left the ground strewn with branches. We had no damage at our home but my Mom was not so lucky. A 60 foot blue spruce uprooted and fell toward her house missing it by inches. This spruce was planted in the late fifties or early sixties and, somewhere, there is a family picture with us as small children lined up in front of it the day it was planted. Losing this spruce leaves a hole in the yard and in our hearts. I told Mom that we will have to plant a new tree in the same spot next spring. I think we should all show up for the planting and take a new family photo in front of the new tree.

Back at the farm the garden has been laid bare except for the carrots, late broccoli and cauliflower. I know I planted the broccoli and cauliflower late but I still hope that they will mature heads for the freezer. I see immature heads on all the plants and have great hope that heavy frost will hold off and the heads can grow to a decent, harvestable, size. I like to push the garden at both ends of the growing season and some years it pays off and some years it’s “Oh well, I tried.”

I cut down and weeded the asparagus bed. I was going to burn the cut fronds directly on top of the bed but with all the rain I don’t think they will dry out enough to burn. They will have to be hauled out of the garden and piled to burn when we have a hot fire going. My asparagus bed is infested with asparagus beetles and I thought that burning the fronds on the bed might help control some of the overwintering beetles. So – – this winter I will have to research these exasperating beetles and focus on their destruction in the spring. Gads!!! It’s a war out there!!

We cut down all the onions and brought them into storage. I always sort them, one-by-one, and take out any onion that looks as if it has not dried well. The solid onions go into basement storage and the bruised, slightly moldy onions are cleaned, chopped, and loaded into the dehydrator. I use the dried onions in any recipe that has liquid and will simmer for a while. Or – I grind the onion pieces in a coffee grinder or morter/pestle for fresh onion powder.

The garden has been, mostly, stripped clean and its produce stored in our pantry. Truth be told, I have already begun the countdown to spring planting. I cannot wait for the first 2013 seed catalog to show up in our mail box so I can begin planning. Come on spring!!

Hey from the farm,

Fran The Country Cousin

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