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Archive for September, 2012

I’ve been working to get my greenhouse ready for winter.  The rosemary and other plants have been moved into the greenhouse to overwinter.  I’ll plant the rosemary, pot and all, in the raised bed to protect it from the cold.  Our property has a large open area around the houses, so rosemary has never overwintered outside for me.  It won’t overwinter inside either.  So. this thing in the greenhouse is another experiment in keeping rosemary alive for more than one season.

The Cherokee Purple is still huge and still bearing fruit.  I don’t know how long it will live after first frost even though it is in the greenhouse.  It is so tall that I think it will freeze.  If it survives until Spring, I’ll be sure to let you know.  I’ve wondered about trimming it back.  Thoughts anyone?

I’ve transplanted several late starts into pots, including tri-color sage, common sage, feverfew, and hibiscus.  These plants are perennials and so should come back next year.  Many of these will be transplanted into permanent homes in the Spring.

In the raised bed, I’ve transplanted bell peppers which are tender perennials.  I’m hoping to keep them healthy and happy throughout winter so I can put them into the garden in the Spring.  Maybe we’ll get a few peppers this Winter.  I’ve also harvested the carrots that I started when the greenhouse was new.  We’ve gotten about five pounds of carrots.  Then, I started six carrot seeds.  I’ll wait about a week and start some more.  Then another week and so on, so that we have a staggered but continual harvest of carrots.  I’ve also got parsnips in the raised bed that will be ready to harvest in early November.  The Trucker’s Delight corn is filling out nicely.  I’ll let the ears dry on the stalk so that I can collect the seeds for use in the Spring garden.

On the workbench, I still have lots of common sage, some feverfew and hibiscus, and some stevia.  I think I might offer these to the homeschool group, or on freecycle.

In the Spring, I think I’ll start several medicinal and culinary herbs to offer for sale.  That will also give me the opportunity to sell any extra veggie seedlings, since I always start more than what we can use.

Well, that’s Autumn in my greenhouse.  Have a nice day.

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Phone days

Today is one of those days.  The phone seems to be ringing off the hook.  Well, it does seem that way.  Neighbor calls twice.  Son once.  Daughter-in-law once, interrupted twice by other calls that I ignored.  Other son called once.  Political three times.  Unknown twice.  And at least one call since then.

It’s very frustrating.  I’m trying to write *ring* when the phone is *ring*ing.  I want to ignore *ring*,…be right back.

*back*  No I don’t plan to vote for your candidate.  Stop asking!

Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah, wanting to ignore the phone.  I would love to turn off all the *ring*ers, but my family is traveling today.  If they have problems, *ring*

*back*  *ring*

*back*  Anyway, like I was saying, if they have problems, they’ll call me to let me know about the issue and to possibly get me to help in some way.  Even though, *ring* I’m limited in what I can do *ring*

*back* because I don’t have a vehicle.  I could call a tow truck or send a friend to help or locate a phone number or just offer support or relay the call to another family *ring* member.

 

*back*  *ring*  No, I don’t want to do a phone survey.  *back*

*sigh*  Where was I?   Oh, yeah, *ring*  “What!?!”  I say to the phone before picking it up and saying, “Hello” very nicely, politely.  *back*

Okay, well, I don’t think I’ll be *ring* able to get any writing done *ring*

*sigh*

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My greenhouse came into service in late June, much later than I would have liked.  This was after we’d gotten the garden planted.  Now, though, the greenhouse is definitely showing its advantages.  The tomatoes in the garden are dying because of the recent heavier and prolonged rains.  The corn has fallen over.  The cucumbers and squash are done for the year.  The sweet potatoes are about the only thing that still looks really good.  Everything else is about done for this year.

In the greenhouse, the Cherokee Purple tomato is still huge and putting out fruit.  About seven or so tomatoes are ripening as I write this.  It has another twenty or more tomatoes in various stages of growth.  It is a very happy plant.  The carrots are huge and almost ready for harvesting.  The corn is doing well.  The ears are enlarging as they ripen.  The parsnips are growing nicely.  The parsley and basil are ready to harvest.  Over on the work bench, the sage, feverfew, and hibiscus are ready for transplanting to their permanent homes.  There are also several pepper plants that will be placed in the raised bed once the carrots are harvested.  They’ll overwinter in the greenhouse.  In the Spring, I’ll plant them in the garden.

Another advantage to the greenhouse is my ability to start more seeds for the garden earlier in the year.  Some of them will still be started inside, though.  I’ll also be starting more herbs for my herb garden.  I was even thinking about selling some of the extra plants.

I’m enjoying our garden.  I’m loving our greenhouse.

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I awoke this morning to part of the family on vacation and one of us at work away from home.  Normally, three of us are home on most days.  So, today was different.

I did my usual morning routine.  Then I went outside.  The van was there; the car was not.  Just like every other day.  The dogs wanted out; the cats wanted in.  Just like every other day.  The greenhouse planted needed watering; the tomatoes needed to be harvested.  Just like every other day.  The chickens needed food; the dogs wanted attention.  Just like every other day.

The chickens’ mineral containing feeder was empty for the first time since we started giving them minerals.  Three chickens were laying at the same time.  One chicken was on top of the truck camper that we put in their fenced area for shade.  These things were unique to this day.

There was a Southern Ringneck Snake in my greenhouse.  It had an orange-yellow ring around its neck and similar colors on its belly.  It had a grasshopper in its mouth.  These things were unique to this day.

There was a hummingbird that landed briefly on the clothesline as I hung up my laundry.  It didn’t stay very long.  This was unique to this day.

I chose not to make coffee or tea.  I got busy with the day and forgot until after lunchtime.  This is unique to this day.

I went over to the neighbors to share our bountiful tomato harvest.  We talked about hawks, dogs, tomatoes, his recent heart attack and associated things, and the costs of such things.  We don’t get to talk much.  Usually he’s working or life is just busy.  So, this was also unique to this day.

Some days, unique doesn’t happen.  Then the days blend in together making it hard to distinguish one day from another.  This day, the unique things will make today memorable.  What unique things have been a part of your day so far?

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Our tomato plants looked great and were producing well until this last rain.  We were getting two to three bushel baskets of tomatoes every three days.  We’ve already made spaghetti sauce, next we’ll be canning whole tomatoes with at least one jar being nothing but grape tomatoes.  (At least, that’s the current plan.)  Typically, one bushel basket was half yellow brandywine and half paste tomatoes.  The other basket was split between Super Sonic, yellow pair, grape, and Better Boy.  The Cherokee Purple tomato in the greenhouse has lots of green tomatoes, but hasn’t produced a ripe tomato in weeks.  There’s still time though.

The tomatoes would have continued producing for about a month longer, but we had several days of rains.  Tomatoes don’t like to be wet.  They don’t like to have wet feet either.  Too much rain or too much watering is not good for tomatoes.  So, anyway, after the rainy days, we knew the tomato plants would start dying off.  Yesterday’s harvest produced a basket and a half, which is significantly less than the usual amount.

That’s okay though.  This year’s tomato harvest has been excellent.  It’s nice to see the fourteen mason jars of spaghetti sauce.  It will also be nice to see the canned tomatoes.

I hope everyone out there with a garden also has a successful harvest.

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I took these photos today of bugs in and on my greenhouse.  I hope you enjoy them.

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