Monday, October 28, 2013

Autumn on the homestead

Mint in the garden
I can't begin to explain how insane the last few months have been. It's not been BAD per se, just... hectic. I also reached a point where I was so heavy and so out of shape that working in the garden was miserable. I planted quite a few things, and got a good start on the garden, and then... wasn't able to follow through. I went on my diet, and today was the last day of the restrictive part of it. I went in at the start weighing 220 lbs (at 5'1"), grossly overweight. Today I weighed in at 196 lbs or so. I feel like I can move mountains.

I made one of those fatal mistakes: I ate like a farmer but didn't work like one. If you want to enjoy a lot of home baked breads and pastas, you have to work your rear off - literally. It's been a long time coming, but the pain and unhappiness finally pushed me to do the drastic diet that we did, and the world feels a lot better now.

I missed out on a lot of the green bean harvest, but we did get enough for part of the winter. We froze some and canned some, so that is a good thing. What's left out there on the bushes is rapidly drying out, withered by the frost and freezing temperatures. Soon I'll pick the last of them, let the seeds dry out, and put some up as soup beans and the rest as seed for next year.

The tomato bed has been put to bed, as has DD's garden bed. I'm covering each bed with cardboard and some with black plastic as well, depending on the severity of the weeds in them. A bit of wood or brick on top to keep it all secure, and the beds are all ready for the snow to fly. Over the cold months, the worms will come and munch on the cardboard, the weed seeds will bake to death and smother, and the soil will be happier than we left it. In the spring we'll put on a nice dose of compost and maybe some manure, and we'll be good to go.

While not everything went perfect this year, we're definitely ahead when it comes to next spring. The only things I really regret are that I didn't get in the asparagus or strawberries. Add another year to the wait for those... they take so long to establish. Still, the results are long lasting and delicious, so I suppose it's completely worth it.

How did your garden go this summer?