Sunday, October 21, 2007

On the winddown to autumn


It feels mighty strange to sit here on the front porch at 9:30 at night in late October, windows all open, and see that my trusty computer temperature gauge says it's 72* outside. That, my friends, is beyond weird. In all rights the windows should be closed and I should have a comfy blanket warming my lap, and a hot tea at my side.

This weather is sapping my normal need to hurry the hell up to get the garden put away for the frost. (Frost?) Instead, I putter as usual, or, rather, as I usually putter in August, but noticing instead how things that abhor August's heat are really putting on quite a show with their fleshy abandon: the nasturtiums, fennel, broccoli, and salad fixings are all positively Rubenesque, in their own photosynthetical way. We had a scraping of 39* in early September, but since then, well, it does not feel like October 21st.

I have, however, begun the process of plant tagging. I make notes, furtively, in my planner according to a plant's variety. As a succession planter, it makes no sense at all to list things according to plant date and harvest date: these terms are quite meaningless if your greening motto is No Dirt Left Exposed. My notes instead have listed that more new pests have emerged, yet some others remained (mercifully) missing. It was a good year for some things, a bad year for others. In other words, it was a normal year, except for its duration.

I learn more every year. This helps me immensely as I am a person who dislikes a plateau in her understanding of anything. I instead love the uphill slog that is, say, anything new (to you). So this greenhouse should be an amusing diversion. It hums along, nicely, its four of six beds seeded with new things, its unmade seventh and eighth bed at least partially newly made. Today I concentrated on keeping the greenhouse's enemies out, building the putative moat and drawbridge which is buried hardware cloth on the outside of buried 2x8 planks...all to keep the voles out. Voles love them some tender plants, especially in the throes of winter.

So I sit here and think, wondering what my next task should be, wondering if I have put enough applesauce by to feed us, wondering if this is the week to roast some pumpkins, wondering, well, as usual, wondering a bit ahead. Ahem. Even if it is warm, the country life is a good life to live. Even if my Metro card still has four rides on it....

6 comments:

deliberately said...

Nice post, El. Enjoy following your adventures!

Woody said...

Can you believe this weather?!! I'm ready for the change of season but these summer temps keep holding on. Makes me think our world is flipping. We are becoming Australia..lol

cookiecrumb said...

I understand! Here in the Bay Area, we are currently at 250% of normal monthly precipitation for October.
Something weird is going on, and we know what it is.
Sigh.
Also. Remember when I told you I didn't have any pests at all in my meager garden? Well, they have intelligence. The snails are here.

farm mom said...

I know what you mean, I usually have my bulbs and garlic in by now, and my garden cleaned up for the winter. I'm still getting ripe tomatoes and peppers out there!!! At the end of October!! It's like a never ending September.

El said...

Hey, Mr. D! Thanks for linking to me. I am always so surprised when people do that. And keep up the great work.

Woody, well, I agree. Things are definitely changing! Though today it is actually more seasonally cool, so I am giddy. Time to get out the wool socks.

Cookiecrumb: You know, chickens LOVE snails! I've had a few more pests show up recently too. The word is definitely out.

Ang: Hi! Yeah, I was looking at those eggplants of mine out there this morning. In their normal habitat, they're a perennial shrub. A couple of them are hitting shrub status, pushing 3' tall, and no cold weather is stopping them yet. I suppose I am probably just speaking too soon. But it would be nice to have a mild Halloween, right? Just so we don't need to bundle up the kids too much.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

El,
I have filet beans that did horrible this summer but recently have sprouted (from the few seeds that didn't before??) and have beans on them! Never before has this happened. It is strange----they are glorious----and it makes odd veggie patch happenings for sure. Just like your strange flower :-) Kind of neat though.