It's getting cold! I'm not really ready for fall, but I don't think it will wait for me to be ready, so I am embracing the descending energy, and preparing for the cold.
I'm so reluctant to let go of the bounty of the harvest. I am spoiled. I love walking outside and picking most of my breakfast every day. Today I harvested Amaranth leaves, basil flowers, a purple bell pepper and a tomato, and cooked them up with half of an onion from the farmers market, a clove of garlic, a can of kippers, and some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I will miss fresh greens when they run out.
I have been cleaning up my neglected tomato plants, collecting finished compost and starting a new batch in the tumbler. That compost is black black black! It's beautiful, and the next round of crops are sure to love it.
Speaking of the next round, I am going to cover my tomatoes with a very low tech hoop house to extend the season a bit, and am considering what to plant underneath them. Broccoli? Kale? Chard? Leeks? Spinach? The tomatoes won't last too far into winter, even with the hoop, but I'd like to make the most of the subclimate the hoop will create.
I was at the Resource Sales Yard yesterday, hunting for PVC pipe for my hoop, and happened upon a great old door instead. It has 5 panes of glass, and will make a fantastic top for a cold frame. That old door is going to save me a fair amount of measuring, cutting and assembly. Now I just need to figure out the ideal angle and build myself a box! I also lucked out with a roll of chicken wire to contain the leaves that won't be fitting into my compost bins.
The first light frost is coming up quickly, and afterwards will be the ideal time to plant the heirloom garlic I ordered from Seed Savers. I've never grown my own garlic, and I'm really excited about it! I ordered 3 different varieties, and need to prepare their bed. More about garlic later!
So, what are you doing to extend your growing season? Who out there has built a cold frame or a hoop house? What tips and tricks do you have to share?
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“In this age the fear of disease has developed until it has become a great power for harm, because it opens the door to those things we dread and makes it easier for their admission.”
Edward Bach, Heal Thyself