Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fall Report

Just a short post tonight, no pictures, to report on what's up.   We've been scrambling to get ready for winter.   Cooler temps, falling leaves and shorter days push us to get everything safe and tucked in for the cold weather to come.   The canning cupboard bulges with delicious tomatoes, pickles, beans and goodies from the garden preserved in jars and more dried and bottled for good meals when the snow flies.   The garden looks bare with all the polebeans and tomato vines taken down and piled on the burn pile.

A few things, cold weather tolerant, are tucked into the raised beds with hopes of extending the growing season a little.  In one bed, a few brave collard plants wave in the fall gusts, while in another the romaine lettuce grows green and fresh.   Covered in two more small beds, are: turnips, radishes, onions, and kale.  Next year's garlic is up about 6".   It'll grow a little more, then rest the tops to grow strong roots underground through the winter to be harvest for delicious bulbs next July.   What a hopeful thing it is to plant garlic in September that won't be pulled until almost a year.  The green tomatoes are packed in tubs in newspaper, and more are spread out in the greenhouse in hopes of ripe tomatoes for a little while at least.  The houseplants are in the greenhouse, along with potted herbs for winter beauty and flavor.

Firewood is stacked along the side of the garage and out back in neat tidy rows, covered with tarps awaiting colder days.    In the root cellar cans, buried out in the woods, we have potatoes, onions, turnips and beets, and in the garage freezer, corn, pesto, blueberries and more.   We just need to get more potatoes and apples, and we're set for winter.

It's a very good feeling, to have much of our food tucked away for winter, as well as the wood to keep us warm.  We've planned for our brains to be fed too, by renewing subscriptions to our favorite magazines, and ordering art supplies to sketch what we see around us.  We made a trip to our favorite stock-up store today to buy 6 cases of wine and some chocolate to finish the necessary stocking up for winter, and as we drove home, a gorgeous sky of sunset and clouds promised a beautiful day tomorrow.  Today was cool, starting about 40 and ending almost 60, with fresh, gusty breezes that have stripped most of the golden leaves off of the maple out back.  Most trees still have a lot of beautiful bright leaves on them, everywhere we look.  It's interesting that that one tree stands alone and strong, dropping the leaves early and close to the garden so I can rake them up and pile them into the garden to nourish next year's crops.

I've been thinking lately about time, and how we choose to spend it.   Each of us has all the time there is, but so many complain that there is never enough of it.   It occurs to me that with all the planning that we do, this use of our time is the most valuable commodity of all.   Since we're retired, we spend our hours in what pleases us, and we're so lucky to be able to make these choices; spending it sparingly on necessary work around the home, some on making money, (our little business), more in celebrating the wonderful grandchildren and the joyous sparkle they bring to our lives.   Then we have a generous time left to settle in with a good book, all day if that's our choice.   Life is very good to us, and I'm so glad we know that and work to preserve that goodness.