Rainy Halloween for us ... leaves falling ... windy gusts shaking the house ... gloomy and cool. Perfect. Especially for our black cat lurking in the shadows!
Tonight marks our first freeze warning of the season with temperatures falling into the upper 20s before morning. The threat of a frost late last week found me covering sections of the garden with old sheets and blankets, but tonight's freeze advisory prompted more drastic measures.
Of all garden offerings, the ones I consider most valuable are my variety of pepper plants from which I eat daily. I hope to prolong their lives as long as possible.
Thus my Halloween light strategy appears as a sign of the season. Tarps and blankets now cover strings of lights snaking in and out of each plant. Sunrise tomorrow will reveal the extent of our success or lack thereof.
One of our primary goals this autumn is replacing the barn loft flooring with something more solid and safe, especially considering the mounds of unbaled hay requiring a dry spot for the winter. We are using a stack of seconds from our local lumber mill for the new floor.
Note our ladder to the loft ...
My constant companion for every outside chore these past few months, Bandit passed away this evening after a brief and inexplicable illness.
Whether I was dragging cedar posts from the woods, weeding garden beds, watering the rabbits, or raking hay in the back field beneath the rising moon, Bandit never left my side but remained almost within touching distance at all times. With a smile on his face.
We buried him in the orchard.
Good boy, Bandit. Rest in peace.
A frost advisory posted for our area this morning with temperatures dipping into the mid-30s tonight. So - I clipped our basil plants today, and we made one more large batch of pesto (which we will freeze for later consumption).
While washing the basil leaves, my daughter discovered this lovely creature in our kitchen sink stepping gingerly from one dripping leaf to another ...
I resisted the temptation to add a little protein to the pesto.
Although we do not expect to harvest our newly planted garlic until late summer 2014, new growth sprouted this week after a day and a half of rain.
Several varieties of swiss chard are ready for picking and should remain viable throughout the next few months. With good mulching, the plants can survive the winter and will produce greens once again spring through mid-summer. Harvesting the outer leaves allows the chard to produce new growth from its center. Eat or saute the ribs much like celery.
Practicing for Thanksgiving ...
Personally, I prefer a top crumb crust rather than double-crust berry pies, but feel free to disagree.
This is our story, in real time and in photos. It is neither unique nor unusual nor extraordinary. But it is our story.