Fall Has Come

By Leah
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October is nearly over, and so is the growing season. We have yet to do a fall/winter garden.

We do have plans to set up cold frames and have a go at it. But not this year. So, this last week, we began the ‘bedding down’ of many things around the farm.

The last of the garden produce was harvested before frost. I had a few banana peppers left on the vines, a couple of fall squash, some large sunflower heads, and the end of the tomato crop. I even had a hand full of strawberries that became my breakfast!

I put away the Fairy Garden and laid down new ground covering and mulch to keep the ivy and weeds from coming up next year.

I cleaned both chicken houses and lined them with cedar bedding. Cedar not only prevents mites, but it generates it own heat.

It’s essential to keeping the chickens warm in winter. And the muck from the chicken houses went to the composter so we can have more good soil for next spring’s garden.

Then we started ‘putting the garden to bed.’ I always find this time of year a bit depressing.

The days are getting shorter and the garden always looks so sad and worn. We cleaned out all of the dead stuff, either putting it in the composter, feeding it to the pig, or in the case of nightshade plants dumping it into the woods.

Then we laid down the straw, stacked up tomato cages, re-mulched the paths, and cleaned and stored all tools in the green house.

There is a bright side. I still have carrots, which I will winter over, and I left one fall squash that is still producing tiny squash. We’ll see if they make it.

Now I will ‘hibernate’ with my books, my writing, my cups of tea, and my dreams for spring when the Fairies come out again and I can start all of my new plants.