Winding down, wrapping up

The rainy season got off to a dramatic start, with a windstorm that brought down some large branches from one of the fir trees in the front yard.

Holiday greenery?

Luckily no damage but a bent gutter. October 12th was the 50th anniversary of the Columbus Day storm of 1962, and compared to that dust-up we got off easy. It hit like a category 3 hurricane on the coast, and more like a category 5 in certain areas.

Getting ready to till in manure before planting winter wheat.

We had a day or two before the rain hit to wrap up most of the garden. Just root veggies and greens in the ground now, but garlic, winter wheat, and cover crops will be planted soon.

Our very generous manure factory.

There was a bit of frost recently, so we harvested every pepper and tomato we could and brought them into the garage to finish ripening. There ended up being quite a lot – over 120lbs of Roma tomatoes in this picture.

Our seed garlic is still hanging from the rafters, above the tomatoes.

Since we already turned a couple of crates-full into jars of fire-roasted goodness, the two ripest crates above were made into paste that will be frozen in smaller portions.

60lbs. of tomatoes cooked down into one pot.

All the squash and potatoes are harvested, and the pigs are helping take care of any that won’t make it through the winter. We cook up a roasting pan full of goodies for them each night to be a breakfast snack the next day.

Rutabaga, spuds, and Sweet Meat squash, ready for baking.

The pigs also get any cracked eggs and scraps from all the harvest processing, along with their commercial rations.

Happy pigs, curly tails.

The chicks are a week old now, and already feathering out. It’s been too cold and windy to round them up for many pictures, but this little guy ‘volunteered’ to pose for us. The home-hatched chicks seem more friendly and more developed than the hatchery chicks we’ve bought over the years.

An Oliver rooster – we hope.

The windstorm prompted us to harvest our apples in a hurry, and also blew down 4 of the 5 pears on our young Bosc tree. This variety needs to be chilled for a few weeks before being brought to room temperature to ripen.

Our first pears.

We made another discovery this weekend – two more princes in hiding under our fir trees! The first prince we found didn’t grow much before drying up and relasing spores. These two are already bigger, but are up against the onset of winter. We’ll leave them alone in hopes of getting even more next year.

Backyard royalty!
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3 thoughts on “Winding down, wrapping up”

    1. Practice practice practice 😀

      But it’s great fun learning. We’ll have a post soon about some of the historical resources we glean through for ideas. It’s surprising how much there is still appropriate over all these years. Especially when growing without chemicals and machinery.

      -Joanna

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