October 2011

October is such a mixed blessing. I love the fall, but am sure not crazy about the season to come. This month has been clean up and getting ready for the winter. We’ve had frost and a mild freeze. If we could only have one more month!

We still had a lot of flowers hanging on right up until the end. The sunflowers held on until around the 15th, we still have celosia, zinnias, belladonna, snapdragons, strawflowers, marigolds and calendula. Little sparks of color along with the glorious colors of fall.

The birdhouse gourds have been fun and we’ve brought them under cover to start the drying process. We still have a garden full of root crops, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, parsley, sage, leeks, spinach, lettuce and raspberries. Grace and I made her specialty, potato leek soup and we also made a 5-gallon pot of vegetable soup known as End of The Year Soup. I look forward to making it all year. It has every vegetable we grow in it, with a beef and venison stock. There was enough to share and freeze for the winter months. Delicious and healthy!

We dug our potatoes, which were happy this year. We put 4 bushels in the cellar for winter. We store them in a wooden bin, in layers, covered with pine shavings. The cellar stays a consistent 55 degrees.

We have started getting the tobacco in. Many of you have asked about the growing process here in Michigan. I’ll get a page up about it soon. Yes, it does grow well in Michigan, without the 4,000 + chemicals associated with commercial tobacco.

I also got some bad news over the past few months. I have broke both my neck and back in past years and it seems to be coming back to haunt me.  The goal is to be able to continue doing what I do, but it has put a damper on a lot of things around here. The fall tilling  has not yet been finished, the cover crops are not planted, the new perennials have not yet been tucked in. The weeds are beginning to take over and I still have many trees I would like dropped. Next year, there is always next year. Until I get some answers I feel like life is on hold.

Pat has been getting firewood in and replacing the barn roof along with some of the heavier things I’m not doing for now.  And mowing, which never seems to end. He always has a bit of humor to inject into every project. Rain or shine, he keeps his sense of humor, which we all enjoy!