Garlic sprouts showing!!

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Now to keep the chickens out. I’ve been making them stay in their coop until 2 hours of daylight left. They destroy everything I do!! They had a field day with the leaves and straw I put out last week. I just spent nearly an hour raking the beds back together. They can stay. Gotta get a fence around the garden! I put maple leaves in the bottom of their coop so they could scratch around in there. It’s still so cool to open their nesting boxes and find 2 different colored eggs! They are getting a bit bigger in size too. I have the coolest looking dozen eggs on my street, I’m willing to bet!

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Covered my container carrots and strawberry beds with straw. It’s supposed to be 28 degrees here tonight. They are really flourishing, one thing chickens couldn’t get to! I call them Carrots for Eli to encourage an apartment dwelling friend of mine to garden anyway! I rearranged the chickens new design of the drip hoses. Creative little buggers.

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Garlic is in the ground and the potatoes are piled high!!

We planted three rows of garlic cloves today! I spent the morning weeding the beds and hard raking all the loose dirt the chickens have been scratching away from the beds. They have really screwed my pooch on the Fall garden, I knew they would and the precautions I took just weren’t enough. I planted the garlic in the beds to the farImage left. Not like a regular Fall crop I guess, it stays until May. I think I’ll rotate out with a block of corn.

Writing down bed layouts for crop rotation is one of the biggest things I want to learn and work on. I planted legumes after the corn to hopefully fix nitrogen for the next crop. Each plant can help or hurt each other just by the way you plant it! I guess it’s time to reread all my Permie stuff. I have different questions this time through, just like they said I would. The old theory vs. practice. With Winter approaching, I’m sure I’ll get my fair share of catching up on my reading. A new GRIT came just today, with winterizing your chickens on the cover, just what we’ve been talking about!

I piled the potatoes today as well, tried to leave just the tops showing. This will be my first trial with growing them this time of year. I’m assuming just like the carrots, if I keep the tops from getting freezer burnt and die, they’ll continue to grow. The carrot tops in the container out front are a good 4 inches now. I’m glad they’re out front, the chickens would have had a field day with those fluffy tops! I plan on getting onions from Renfroe’s this week and a couple bales of straw to add some finishing Fall touches.

Keeping up the good work 😀

Potato Pull!!

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We had a great day potato pull yesterday of some white sweet potatoes. Less sweet and less nutritious than the orange variety, this was a new potato for us. This harvest had been growing for about 6 months. We covered the beds twice with straw and compost as the greenery raged.

We started by loosening the soil with the pitchfork and digging in and around for the potatoes. I always feel like an archeologist digging away fossils. Yeah, I grew up in the Jurassic Park era.. So I love digging up potatoes and garlic.. and onions,, 🙂 It was a great day to be in the yard. Lower 70s, great breeze. I love just being out there with Michael harvesting part of our dinner for that night. It was just a really good moment in all the stress we’ve had lately. The world sure doesn’t make it easy sometimes to go back to basics, ya know? That little cottage I want nestled in the foothills with a clean stream that runs by. We can’t catch and eat but so many of those fish due to mercury levels.

What do we do you ask? We cook potatoes. I pour enough olive oil to drizzle over the pan of cut potatoes and went out front and stripped two rosemary branches. Dropping those in with the oil, I chunk 3 small/med white sweets and one large orange sweet. I spread them out on a cookie sheet, drizzled the oil and roasted them at 375 degrees F. The rosemary made the house smell so good and even though the scent was strong, it did not out power the potatoes at all 😀

An Autumn Breeze..

It’s starting to feel like Fall. Cooler mornings just make my coffee taste better. We have been walking Sydni to the bus stop every morning instead of driving. We live at the end of the cul-de-sac, so lately we all set out for the stop sign. Gives us time to talk, stretch our legs, take some deep breaths.. you know, real hippie stuff 😉 Our mornings have been way smoother because now our nights are way smoother. We finish the night together in her bed reading one last story. I try to let her read one on the couch, just so she doesn’t associate reading with wanting to go to sleep, ya know? And at the end of her second story, I’m usually finishing it and she’s yawning. Perfect. I tuck her in and it’s done! No whining about not getting to watch a movie or anything on Netflix. I didn’t take it away, I just limited the amount of time, at a certain time. When she gets out of her bath, she may watch whatever she chooses until 8:00 p.m. She also is learning her bath time influences that time slot, she has to make the nightly choice.. Play a little longer in the bath or watch an episode of Good Luck Charlie.. I going to smile in this small success moment 🙂

We finished our last succession of planting for Brussels sprouts, arugula, spinach, romaine and a salad mix. My container carrots are starting to show sprouts, we’ll see how they do.. Tricky seeds. They did awesome in that same container this spring!! Instead of mums, hopefully my front stoop will hold carrot tops!! Two more weeks before we drop the alliums. WE are trying some potatoes this Fall to see their success. Some red potatoes(my favorite) and a new variety gifted to us. Russian Fingerling potatoes. They sure are funky looking tots!! All I know is when they are chunked up with a mince garlic clove and some diced onion brushed with olive oil and roasted.. Slap your mama right there! We do the same with the Brussels, sometimes chunked together with your potatoes on same baking sheet.

We are harvesting okra, cowpeas and assorted peppers daily. I will put a set of cayenne peppers in the dehydrator today, to grind into powder next week. (Ground pepper, onion, garlic, etc.. in cute jars makes GREAT gifts, especially from an organic garden) We got tired of okra, so thank goodness the peas started maturing!! We ate our first helping two night ago. It was fantastic. The food and the feeling that came with it.

As we are getting ready for Fall, getting our garden ready for a new season, it gives me time to reflect on all we have accomplished this season. Sometimes in the midst of replacing one done plant with another about to begin, you realize you are ending a whole season. I’m pulling up a Roma I started the seed for January 1st, the bell peppers I’m still pulling from I started the same day. It’s incredible how far we’ve come, how much we’ve learned from others, from our earth and from our plants. The deepened respect I have for my Mother Earth every time I see a sprout come up, every time I pull food off a plant I planted to feed my family. It is absolutely empowering.

We are learning plant diversity, rotation and companion planting to eliminate more chances for diseases or pest infestations with out the use of harsh chemicals.

We are learning things are things and are different than happiness. We are opening up to let our lives be redefined by our own means, not society’s.

Live simply, breathe deeply and smile often..