[Jo] The days and months fly by! What happened to August and September? Today is October 14th, and we had our first snowfall of the season, preceded directly by our first hard freeze. For once we were on top of it, and got the irrigation lines drained and winterized. Wink and Eric have been working on enclosing the lines directly connected to the windmill, and had made some headway, but a heavy rain flooded the site, floated the rastra, and left a muddy mess (not pictured). So the windmill is protected by hay yet again.
What else have we done? Got the concrete poured into the footer for the greenhouse.
Got the hoophouse (seen above behind Jim & Eric) finished in time to protect my chinese hat shrub.
Scored a lot of plants at auction–some so big they had to be lifted into the planting holes with the tractor. A chaste tree, flame maple, river birch, washington hawthorne, 5 big hedge roses, 2 euonymus, a red twig dogwood, and lots of small wildflowers to pop into low water zones. Putting in posts for the pergola. Got a georgous yellow climbing rose to add to the trumpet vines, Virginia creeper, kiwi, et al. The bones of the garden are beginning to show through, at least this back quarter of the courtyard.
But let’s go back and catch up on the rest of the summer. Rosie and Bob came for a lovely visit in July.
We had a goat roast in August. Eric did the deed , more to satisfy himself that he would have some experience for his upcoming elk hunt–in the event he got one (alas, he didn’t). Good food, good friends.
The flowers this summer were beautiful, both wild and planted. We had a stunning “black” hollyhock, and too many others to mention. The raised beds produced a small amount of cukes, tomatos, peppers, melons…and a beautiful strawberry popcorn that we’re drying now. It looks like all 40 of the asparagus plants will do well–two more years till harvest! The orchard and vineyard plants made it through the summer, and we have some ideas about getting the grapes to come out stronger next spring. We had a lot of surprises this season. Lots of plants that looked dead as a doornail most of the spring and early summer finally struggled out when the ground warmed up–two pecans especially surprised us. I thought they were dead last year!
We did some mud plastering inside–cut our own lathe, then smoothed the clay over it. Didn’t use enough sand though–had a lot of cracking–but that will be covered up with the finish coats.
Anna is shopping around, looking for a source for a red clay adobe. We want to work on the earthen floor this winter. Our clay is ok, but sooo brown. Something terracottay would be much prettier with our colors.
Doing this kind of work is soooo much fun with little ones around. There’s a huge crop of pinion this month, and I took Bruce with me to gather the nuts. I had to crack them for him to eat, and they’re pretty small so he was clamoring for the next before I had time to pick up more than two nuts for my bag–pretty slow going, but a great way to spend a couple of hours on a lovely fall day.
Today we cut alligator juniper on the sawmill into mud plates for the greenhouse, then put the planks into the hoophouse to dry for a couple of weeks. Progress, little by little. We’ve been plagued by health issues this last year. So much of what we do involves heavy labor…we started this project in good health…something we’ve always taken for granted–but no more.