As another growing season winds down, it’s time to take note of the most prominent lessons learned:
|Some of our butternuts|
|This year's new perennial bed|
2) Newspaper mulching is a winner. We tried it on the raspberries and basil, with delightfully weedfree success. It all but eliminated the need for future weeding and is well worth the initial time investment. I did learn to not attempt to do it on a day with the most remote of breezes, as you will spend equal time chasing newspaper across the yard as putting it around the plants. The depth of the mulch is important, too, or else the weeds will poke their way to the sunshine and eventually the newspaper will begin to show through, waiting for the first stiff breeze to go for a ride somewhere. But with a good layer of mulch, it looks great and does the job. And, in the late fall, it can just be rototilled under. It sure beats weeding every week. (Thanks to Annie Gregson for the idea!)
3) Don’t be afraid to improvise. After lots of searching online for ways to braid onions, and not really understanding any of them, I sat on the porch with some twine and just tied a bunch together, trying to keep them tight so they look neat. Hey, it works.
4) Trial and error is a good thing and, with a good bottle of wine or two, can actually be fun. We continue to learn the finer points of canning. Larry did a quasi-successful and then a successful batch of canning beets. Personally, I’ve become a fan of blanching veggies and we did about 25 pounds of tomatoes. You boil them for two minutes, put them in freezer bags and into the chest freezer they go. Quick, easy, done.
|Bring on winter!|
5) Never underestimate the power of the right tools for the job. With our dandy new (to us) tractor and woodsplitter, we were done with all our firewood by our target date of Memorial Day weekend. There’s nothing like looking at those killer stacks of wood all summer, seasoning beautifully, knowing that you’re done with the job and you’ll have fantastic heat all winter.
|Gotta love that man!|
I’m sure I’ll think of more things but I think I’ve rambled on enough for one post. Thank you to everyone who has commented on how much they like my blog and ask when I’ll be posting something again. I promise to be better about keeping all of you in the loop. Until next time, happy homesteading!