Hello to all from Nebraska. I just have to say that it really is an honor to be able blog with so many great bloggers here on the GRIT website. I have searched and attempted to blog on many other sites but the bloggers here are genuine homestead caliber. I have learned so much from all of you and have received much inspiration from the posts written here. This community is an ever expanding source of needed information for the novice and the expert. I really do enjoy reading and commenting on all your posts. My day usually begins and ends with the GRIT blogging community. In my humble opinion, there's no better way to wake up with folger's in my cup and to wind down from an active day. Keep up the good posting.
It's very much into fall weather here. The leaves are falling fast and many trees are already bare. Last year fall color lasted well into November. This year it looks like the fall color will be finished before November gets here. We enjoyed a great rain last night and now we are half way to our average rainfall of 2.42 inches for October. That rain just happened in the last two days. Unfortunately I didn't have the need to fill up my garden watering tanks and really must drain them all down and store them away for the coming winter months. All indications are for a much colder winter than last year. My hope is for colder and more snow. My grandson would agree with the more snow. We only got to hit the slope one time last year. This year will be a mile stone year. He is wanting a sled to be able go down the hill by himself. The little dare devil is growing up fast.
We had a very momentous day here yesterday. My grandson turned 8 years old. For two hours 14 boys and several girls crawled all over the fort in the backyard, consumed hot dogs, ate cake, and gobbled up candy from the pinata. They drank gallons of soda at which time they could hardly sit still to watch the opening of the presents. Yeah we sugared them up and sent them home after two hours. Oh, what a relief it was.
Some already know about my big event last week. The best part of it was just to see the GRIT staff. My travels on occasion bring me close to Topeka, the headquarters city of GRIT magazine. When I get even within an hour or so from them, I make a special trip to see them. They are a great group to visit. If ever you get the chance to visit with them, do it. I just happen to be fortunate enough to live just three hours driving time away.
GRIT magazine started a TV show this year called "Tough GRIT". Way last May the news came out about the new show and sign up to be on the show began. I decided to just throw my name into the mix and quite frankly forgot about the show except to watch one when the link of the new show would pop up on the GRIT website. Through a twist of fate some contestants couldn't make it to the filming of their designated show. That's when I received the call from GRIT to see if I was still interested in being on the show. DUH, that was a no brainer. Let's see. Get to hang out with Hank and Caleb for a day. Be on a TV show with Hank and Caleb. No way was I going to pass up that opportunity. I was not disappointed. The day was cloudy, the rain threatened throughout the day, and a chilly wind blew all day long. The challenges for this show involved setting T-posts and stringing up five strands of barbed wire. Once the competition started the threat of rain and the chilly wind was all forgotten and full focus was on the task at hand. The only down side, if there really is one, is the episode falls near the end of the filming season and this episode will not be aired until next May. The phrase used on the set quite often was hurry up and wait. No worry as my Aussie friends say. I have plenty to keep me busy until May.
I'm already thinking about what seeds I'm going to be starting in February for the garden next year. My neighbor across the street that grew the pumpkins, watermelon, and potatoes this year will be expanding his part in the garden next year. Shhhhhh, don't tell any one but we will be pushing the border of my property next year into the property to the south that is owned by the fellow from Montana that hasn't paid the taxes in three years. (Whispering voice) Some of the pumpkins will be on that land. I have a special stash of giant pumpkin seeds. Don't tell my neighbor but after he finishes planting his pumpkins next year, I going to sneak in a couple of the giant pumpkin seeds. I will be great fun to watch his expressions when he sees the pumpkins just getting bigger and bigger, don't you think? I'll keep you posted when that fun starts.
Here's the last of the watermelon harvest taken right before the killing frost. We harvested six melons from three plants with only two stolen from the patch. I don't mind if folks grab a melon or two as long as they don't get greedy and take them all. I'm not a big fan of eating watermelon but my neighbor that grew them said they were real tasty and can hardly wait until next year to grow some more.
When I started this garden last year, I wanted a community garden but not in the traditional sense of this is your spot to plant and groom as you see fit. I didn't really know what it would look like but it seems that the garden did. Right from the beginning I've had involvement with the garden. Many have donated things for the garden even though that haven't helped with the growing of the vegetables. It has become just what I wanted all on its own. Next year will be even better.
This is our only pumpkin loss due to animal consumption. This was a totally green pumpkin that was still trying to make to maturity in the cool fall weather. Frankly, I was quite surprised at the attempt of this guy because most of the vines already looked quite dead but the juices must have still flowed up the stem. Anyway this was the first day I saw the nibbling on the pumpkin. A few days later the pumpkin was almost entirely eaten. I suspect my resident groundhog or groundhogs are the culprits. I'm really surprised they didn't come calling earlier in the season.
A couple posts ago I was in the thoes of hauling two giant bales of hay to Terra Nova Gardens for mulching. The mighty project has been completed after 11 1/2 loads. It has covered almost half of next year's gardening area. The rest will be covered with neighborhood foraged yard grass and leaf fall cleanup. I'm really looking forward to a great gardening year next year.
I hope everyone is having a great fall season. It's just 67 days until winter arrives. I do like the cooler fall weather because it's a great season for soup my favorite thing. Oh, I didn't mention that on the Tough GRIT filming day, lunch was catered in. It was beef vegetable soup. Awwwwh, it just don't get any better than that on a cool windy day.
So as the sun rises on another day at the Urban Ranch (where I live) and Terra Nova Gardens, thoughts of next year's garden continually race through my mind. Keep on plugging through that fall cleanup cause I suspect winter's coming sooner than we think. Have a great day in the garden and I'll catch up with you again next time.
(Voice fading away as I'm walking away from the computer mumbling to self) Now where is that coffee cup. I know it's here somewhere. Should really keep track of it better. It's a good thing I have a big supply of cups.