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October 28, 2010

Well this is the first blog in a while; I was having trouble with my pictures (they wouldn't show up) and I rather lost heart. Thanks once again to Brandon at Spadewerks for his help. Computers can be terribly frustrating to those of us with ludite tendencies. Honestly when I first made pesto, many years ago, I made it in a mortar and pestle. Not because I'm Italian but because I was content not to have a food processor; one should be able to manage without it I felt. Everytime I get a little bit more comfortable with the computers they upgrade and I'm back  to where I started. Oh well; at least there are helpful people out there.

It's Fall. And Fall is a glorious time. Yes there's tons and tons of work to do, rather like Spring, but the air is crisp and cidery. The land is putting forth one last glorious blaze of colour before it goes to sleep for winter. 

Danny is cutting and splitting wood. On weekends he gets Hannah and Eben to help him ( I can usually get out of it by saying I'm baking something ) and after school theres often wood to pile in the basement. I do help with that. Hannah does better with company and she and Eben do not work well together at the moment.

Danny has planted winter wheat; it's up 4 inches. The fiels he's planted it in is a sheep pasture where the sheep don't like the grass overmuch. Hopefully it will survive the winter; it will help stop erosion and maybe even result in wheat for bread making. Winter wheat is a hard wheat  and better suited to bread making. If it doesn't survive the winter it will be plowed back into the soil and the fiels will be reseeded with grass.

Of course one of the common sights in the fall (and Spring ) is the manure spreader:


 Here we are cleaning out the cow barn manure storage area (we clean some of it out in the Spring but leave some for Fall when we know what fields will need it most). The tractor and spreader run most of any sunny day. The white bags are feed bags full of drop apples. we mean to sell them but haven't got a sign out by the road yet. If we leave them at the bottom of the road they will probably be stolen. This is a relatively new phenomenom (stealing produce from the side of the road) but I guess progress comes most places the good and the bad.

In the Fall is the time to plant your garlic. (I bet you thought I'd gotten over my garlic.)  You can plant it in theSpring but then you have to plant it super early; like the beginning of April and who knows what the weather will be like. Or you can plant it on a sunny Fall day. That's what we've done. This year it's turned into a real family effort. Danny prepared me a spot in the garden; it was heavily overgrown with grass and weeds:


He even tilled in some of his composted manure. Danny's composted manure is so nice that you are almost tempted to roll around in it. After that we raked it of and I got out my basket of garlic cloves:


We decided to plant all the garlic I grew this summer.Or rather I did. We got 6 rows going halfway down the garden! Can you imagine what my breath is going to smell like next year! Garlic cloves planted in the ground; it's like having a bank account for a rainy day. We bought some garlic from a grower further up the valleyand were going to plant some of it but I imagine we'll eat all of it instead. Hannah is gamely covering the 6 rows(she's done 4 so far) with more of Danny's composted manure. I'll get Eben to help me spread the straw in the next week and it will be a family affair.

In the meantime Hallowe'en is coming. Hannah wants to carve a pumpkin with Dad and both kids are visiting friends Hallowe'en night. Be kind to the goblins who come to your houses.




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Oct-29 2:46pm

Nice pics. So I can just plant any ol' organic grocery store cloves in my garden?


Oct-29 3:01pm

I would hesitate to try that. Much of the grocery store garlic sold in Canada is from China and had been irradiated. Although it sprouts in the Spring still I don't feel it has a lot of vitality. I would use the garlic I got at the farmer's market or from a friend in a heart beat. Garlic for planting is easy to grow; I have had excellent luck with hard necked (as opposed to soft neck or rocombole garlic). In warmer climes soft necked may do better.<br /> Seed garlic is easy to find; and if you can plant it you can eat any extra you might have.


Oct-29 3:14pm

Cool info, thanks. We're organizing our first garden for planting in the spring and we haven't sorted out the garlic issue yet. This will help a lot!