Summer is Gone and Fall is Here

Those dog days of summer are long gone and the cold night temperatures of Fall have set in for the duration. I feel like the cold wet Spring coupled with the unusually cool summer temperatures robbed me of my favorite times of the year. My garden didn’t get planted until almost June and the first ripe tomato was several weeks later than usual. It seemed to me that the entire summer was condensed down into a four to six week span. Most folks would rather have the cooler temperatures but I think it’s healthier to sweat at least once a day. In my humble opinion it cleans out the pores.  Those that have read this blog for a time know that my motto is work hard and go to bed tired.  It’s a little more difficult to do in the winter but trust me, I’ll find something to stay busy.

The highlight of September was the Mother Earth News Fair in Lawrence, Kansas. My ticket was purchased with anticipation before they were even printed. I must say that all my expectations were exceeded. My only disappointment was that it wasn’t long enough to get to every workshop that I wanted to hear. There were several hundred vendors there pitching their wares. I love to listen to a sales pitch. I seldom buy anything but the pitch is very entertaining to me. Yeah, I know I’m just a little strange. Their pitch has a way of expressing the best qualities of their product.

The workshop that drew the highest attendance in my opinion was on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. It lasted an hour and a half. I didn’t attend the demonstration but it was a live demonstration of how to process a chicken from the last cluck through the entire process. With just a rough count, I made an estimate of 500 or 600 folks were interested in the method. As for me, I saw enough chicken processing when I was a kid. I wasn’t involved in the process other than cleaning out the coop when the chickens were all gone. Mom did all the killing, scalding, plucking, singeing and eviscerating. 

Some of the talks and workshops I enjoyed the most were Bryan Welch’s talk about sustaining life on the plant, Cheryl Long’s talk about garden tools and how to make the easiest cheese ever, and David Tracey’s workshop on guerrilla gardens of which I intend to do this next year. Shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone. It will be 30-by-30 square feet of sweet corn. It’s a plan to keep the weeds down on the vacant lot next to my garden and hopefully be a decoy for the wild animals that like to attack my garden sweet corn. The tall fence I’m building and the decoy crop will hopefully be enough for me to actually get a good harvest of sweet corn. Well, that’s the plan anyway.

Terra Nova Gardens’ fence rehabilitation is coming along quite nicely. This is the latest picture, however, there’s been more accomplished since this picture. The missing slats have been installed from the rubble pile and much cleanup has been done in preparation for the fall deep mulch that will be covering the whole garden area again. Those that have hung with me on this blog since last fall will remember the nearly 600 bags of neighborhood grass/leaf confiscated yard waste that put a foot deep of mulch on my garden. Before the mulching caper, worms were scarce but now there are worms in practically every shovel of dirt. I’m sure the mulching was a great help to bring the worms into the garden.

There’s nothing better than enjoying a nice fall day with Folger’s in my cup. It won’t be long before all activity outside will have to stop which only means that inside projects will begin. Yeah, there’s no kicking back for the winter at the Urban Ranch. With the food storage room finished the rest of the basement will be the project for this winter. It will be first cleaned out and then made into a Bradley cave. Then I can actually have my living room back. Right now I’m into birthday party preparation for Bradley’s ninth birthday so I better get back to it.

I hope all is well with everyone and that you can enjoy some Fall weather before it’s gone as well. So until the next time stay warm, drink some hot cider, and eat some Fall comfort food. We will meet here again soon.

Published on Oct 24, 2013

Grit Magazine

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