Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

I've seen so many "Welcome Autumn" signs one would think people are eager to say good riddance to a summer of the kinds of records no one wants to break.  Sometimes it's outright disasterous that norms are averages of the extremes.  We're slightly behind on rain for our area, but there is still the chance for tropical storm precipitation through November; this was a good rain week with over 3 inches.  Overall we experienced a first-rate gardening year, the one difficulty being an isolated mini-drought in August.

Pumpkin growers across the nation are saying the crop will be small this year.  From floods in some parts to extreme drought in others, farmers endured a problematical growing season, so it wasn't just us.  Still, we enjoyed making this seasonal display under our front yard maple tree; by the time these pumpkins become pies, hay bales underneath will be moved to serve a more practical purpose as garden mulch.  To rid wheat straw of seeds, we let bales sit out in the rain over winter which either sprouts or smothers them before they are spread around plants.

We have a decent supply of pumpkin butter to sell at the "can't miss" annual Pumpkin Festival in Pumpkintown, SC this year on October 8, one week from this coming Saturday.  Hope you will come out and say 'howdy.'  There is a delightful little article on the event featured here that even mentions us!  No, we do not home-grow all the pumpkin required to make our pumpkin butter, but we will sell extra produce, so it's nice in some way to see a little return on our work.
Sweet bell peppers will be
chopped and frozen

Carrots, last harvest of the season

Our fall garden has really zoomed into growth, smiling at the rain and mild temperatures we saw last week.  Next year's future summer vegetable patch has been burned clear of brush and is ready for tilling before we lay down cardboard and fallen leaves.  We gathered the last of any fresh tomatoes and bell peppers - extra peppers were chopped and frozen to add to meatloaf, chili, and breakfast eggs later.  Carrots were dug, too, the final harvest of our summer garden.  Now as soon as the ground dries some, we will till and plant a cover crop of red clover.

Driving around town we see obvious signs of the seasonal change in trees, especially dogwoods and red maples.  Some sugar maples, too, are starting to glow in their tops.  Since we enjoyed abundant sunshine this year we're hoping for a spectacular show across the fall foliage spectrum of reds, oranges, and yellows.

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Dedicated to the responsible production and preservation of healthy home-grown food to the glory of God. Isaiah 55:10 The rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater. Organic, or not? We try to raise vegetables organically, using compost and manure. The addition of chickens to our hobby farm means plenty of organic nitrogen to compost! This site gives credible reference to planting information contained in the Farmer's Almanac (