Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Peace that Autumn Brings

Things have gone from madhouse-busy to relative quietude here almost overnight. The pigs have gone to slaughter, the goats are being dried off and tucked in for the Fall and Winter, the garden is all but put to bed, and the chickens have all very suddenly begun their molt.

The lack of Summer's endless chores is a refreshing change.

The flipside of that, of course, is that we are soon to have no more goat milk, eggs or fresh produce until early Spring. All of which I'm ok with - for now. The predictable cycle of antsy anticipation (Hurry up and grow!) eventually fading into frustration and fatigue (Por favor, no mas, zucchini. I surrender!) has nearly come full circle. I'm not itching to plant anything yet, but I have already started mulling over which fruit and veg will make the cut for next Spring's garden and which won't. My thoughts, so far -

The Keepers:
*Cocozelle zucchini (though maybe half as many plants)
*Cylindra beets (again, half as many)
*Early Bush Scallop squash (Pattypan)
*Russian red kale
*German chamomile
*Toma Verde tomatillos
*Sweet basil
*Scarlet Runner beans
*Hungarian Blue bread poppies
*Roma/Paste tomatoes (Probably a different variety, though. The Roman Speckled Paste never ripened at all.)
*Borage (We didn't really use any ourselves, but Billy's honeybees were NUTS for the stuff.)
*Sugar Pie and Cinderella pumpkins
*Scarlet Nantes and Little Fingers carrots (Maybe 2 beds worth next time?)
*French Breakfast and Cherry Belle radishes

Hmmm, maybe:
*Yukon Chief sweet corn (many ears came out stunted, loses it's sweetness and becomes starchy very soon after picking.)
*Golden beets (For whatever reason, these were slug magnets and had to be pulled rather early, lest we lose the whole beet bed to the slugs.)
*William Naked Seed pumpkins (The jury is still out on these, as they haven't been harvested yet)
*Onions (Our success with the onion family has been very limited. Billy is super keen to figure them out though, so...)
*Sunflowers for seed (These seem to be taking forever to ripen. I think it's about even odds now that they'll mold/rot on the vine before ever becoming fully ripe.)
*Lettuces (Apparently, we don't eat enough salad to justify growing more than a few cut-and-come-again plants.)
*Sugar beets (These all went to the pigs. Since we don't know yet if we're doing pigs next year, these are a maybe.)

*Minnesota Midget Melon cantaloupe (Never fully ripened on the vine, attracted mice in droves, even the ripe fruit wasn't terribly flavorful.)
*Mammoth Melting peas (They don't transplant well for me, and take forever to get their feet under them, whether transplanted or direct-sown.)
*Yellow squash (Between the zukes and the pattypan, we had more than enough Summer squash.)

Haven't Yet, but Wanna:
*Florence fennel
*Potatoes (Haven't decided on a variety yet)
*Cannellini beans?
*Pickling cucumbers
*Cilantro (It was a huge oversight on our part that we didn't get it in the garden this year.)

And that's as far as I've come with all that. My brain is about to go on a mini-vacation before the Winter/holiday season crafting/knitting/soap making freak-out begins. Bon voyage, mes amis.

The view from my studio of our little garden and Goatlandia in late Summer, September 2013.