Over Already

Reader Contribution by Jack Fernard
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Anyone else seriously bumming these days?

I looked out at the backyard this morning and found myself giving a heavy sigh. “It’s awfully quiet out there,” I complained to no one in particular.

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. The trees change colors, the salmon (or “kings” as the locals know them) start their spawning run upriver, and hunters pull out of their summer withdrawal and head to the woods en masse. Fall is a great time to be outdoors!

But today, I’m kind of bummed. The chicken coop has been vacated, its door locked for the winter, and my gardens have been given their winter blanket of weed barrier — the cover crops so carefully sown now peacefully laid to rest. Am I imagining things, or does my tumbling composter actually look lonely?

Right about now, I am seriously contemplating one of those hoop greenhouses — AGAIN!

But the break from the growing season gives me time to contemplate the successes and the failures of this year’s efforts. My Yukon’s did great — best harvest ever! But my red potatoes did nothing … as in, not even a single sprout. Frustrated by this, I grabbed the last two red spuds, chucked them out in a field, threw an arm full of straw over them and walked away. Guess what grew just fine? (And here I actually thought I knew what I was doing!) That oddity has me wondering if I shouldn’t try leaving some potatoes above ground next year. Wasn’t a whole lot of work involved. No weeding, no tilling, I didn’t even have to water them.

Oh well, I’ve got another five months or so to think about it!

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