Garden blues

I’ve got a case of the garden blues.

I can’t believe garden season is already over. I know some of you who have large gardens are probably excited and happy that things are winding down, but for some reason I’m not. I feel like I was just ramping up. I’m starting to learn more about things and I actually finally have things ready to pull up and eat. I actually kind of understand how things are working too. It’s kind of sad that I have to stop soon and wait for the cold weather to go away and for the snow to melt before I can really even start thinking about the garden again. Combine that with a Monday and here I am.

I’m waiting for the spinach and arugala to come up for some tasty dishes. Those are great with eggs and I think I’ll freeze some up to add to soups this winter. I’ll be planting the garlic this week if it ever stops raining. I’ll keep harvesting whatever I can get off the plants but I’m not expecting a lot as the temperatures wind down.

If I can come up with the resources I’m hoping to double the size of the garden next summer. That will take a lot of work so we’ll see if I can get it all together or not. It’ll involve ripping out some existing plants and digging them up and building some new raised beds over the tops of those spots.

We had a busy weekend. I attended a renewable energy expo in nearby Solon, IA. I took copious amounts of notes and I’ll write those up shortly. I was both happy and disappointed with the expo, which I’ll discuss in more detail in my post.

We also put up even more food. What space I had in the freezer is now gone. I was only able to get 5 lbs of green beans, all my carrots, a dozen ears of corn and 9 zucchini fruits (is that the right term??) put up this weekend. I still have 3 lbs of green beans to do but I think we might just eat those this week. I hope more peas come in. When they were plentiful this spring we were eating them faster than I bought them so not very many were put away for the winter. I was also planning to do up some applesauce but time constraints kept me from even picking up enough apples. Perhaps this week I’ll get that done. I used the Food Saver this time around when I bagged them so they would stay fresh until they are needed in the late winter. It was nice to use it again since the first month I got it about 5 years ago. I hope the pears at the neighbors are ready soon. I definitely want to make up some pear sauce for this winter.

In other news, my most recent Adventure Cycling magazine has a review of the Surly Long Haul trucker touring rig. I’ve been salivating over this bike for the better part of 2 years. They gave it a glowing review as a touring or all around bike. I expected as much from what I had heard from people who had them. Perhaps someday I’ll get one.



7 responses to “Garden blues

  1. Think about planting more storage crops for next year, then your gardening season won’t be over so quickly. Some things keep growing (and get better!) in fall like kale and carrots. Sounds like you might want to start thinking about building a small root cellar for things like carrots instead of using precious freezer space (no electricity!).

  2. I bought Four-Season Harvest for my wife a few months ago after I checked it out from the library and got excited. She’s not quite ready for it yet but she’ll get there. Are you ready? 😉

  3. Liz–Thanks for the advice. I did plant a 2nd batch of carrots to dig up closer to winter, but I think they may have all died. Nothing seems to be poking up through the soil yet. I 2as going to try more root crops next year. Do you have any advice for ones that you especially like?

    I have plans to construct some type of root cellar, hopefully this fall and stock it with things from the market. I’ve seen plenty of plans on the net and I’m just trying to figure out how best to build it from scratch. My basement is heated by a corn stove through the winter so obtaining a cool area will be a challenge. If it wasn’t for the stove I think my WWII area basement would probably be ideal for a root cellar.

    Nathan-Thanks for the book link. I’ll check that out. I do have plans for a hoophouse, but it has to wait in line with all the projects that I don’t have time for. 🙂

  4. Sorry this should say era, not area.

    “If it wasn’t for the stove I think my WWII area basement would probably be ideal for a root cellar”

  5. I feel your pain with the cold weather approaching. I am sad b/c we can’t use the pool. 😦 You are sad b/c you can’t garden. On a lighter side, sledding is coming soon! Remember sleding down Mt Mercy hills last year and E’s face when he got it full of snow?! Hee hee! More great memories to come!

  6. Maybe you can rehab a portion of your garage somehow for root cellar type storage.

    Also keep in mind for next year to start a little earlier. Some things can be planted early.

  7. fall is really busy in the garden. it’s the best time, in my opinion, to expand territory. now is the time to rip up lawn and till it under; or just sheet mulch it and let the grass die. If you make new beds in the fall you can plant a winter cover crop and you’re feeding nitrogen into your soil for next spring. plus the ground will be much easier to work early next season. i think you’ll find it much easier to bed prep now rather than in april or may. also you can pick up any old glass- discarded windows work well- and build quick little minigreenhouses that will allow you to grow a few items longer into winter and earlier next spring. fall is also a good time to clean and sharpen tools. and don’t forget about planting perennials. maybe not so much in Iowa but here i plant garlic and onions for next spring. if not, now might be a good time to put out fruit trees and berry bushes. by time your finished with all that it’ll be holiday season and you’ll be ready to start picking out seeds from the catalog for next year. sounds like a blog post is brewing…

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