Tuesday, October 7, 2008

graceful decline

Last night was a killing frost. When I went out this morning to feed the sheep and let the birds out of there coop there was a coating of ice on the water troughs, and the sunflowers seemed caked in white ice. The chilly night put the final nail in the garden's coffin. Which is fine. The garden has long since been chalked up as a loss. By mid August whatever wasn't eaten was froze or put up. I don't have enough food stored to last me a winter (but I doubt my stir-fry skillet will ever want for anything.) When the last sweet corn had been picked and the only things left to grow out were the green pumpkins sunning themselves in afternoon light, I propped up my hoe, slapped my hands together, and let the garden fall into a graceful decline. No more weeding. No more fuss. That's how we roll.

Now those green pumpkins are bright orange and stacked on the hay bales on the porch. I won't bother with them till closer to Hallows' when they'll be carved for the Holiday. The fact that I am carving pumpkins I planted from seed is a big deal to me. October is my favorite month, and pumpkins are one of it's best avatars. Last year my pumpkins in Idaho failed miserably and it crushed me, but this year we're back with vengeance!

I was only able to grow two carving pumpkins (on the smaller side, but gamely clinging to acceptable size) and an armful of smaller pie pumpkins. So it's not like the cards are stacked, but I am hoping to empty out three or so this weekend and make a pie or pumpkin bread for my guests. And if they are unfit as carvers, the sheep will be beside themselves with joy if they get a snack of gourds out in the north field.


Blogger EJ said...

Don't just leave your garden in the fall. Now is the time to clean out all the dead and wilting things and put them in the compost. It keeps diseases and pests from building up.
Also good time to plant garlic, berry bushes and trees.

It's much more fun to come back in the spring to a tidy garden rather than than a soggy mess.

October 7, 2008 at 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you ever had your garden in the same place every year? If you do, I can't imagine all the disease that has built up over the seasons- its no wonder you have trouble growing pumpkins. I agree with e- make your life easier and clean it out now!

October 7, 2008 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

E and Anon,

I will (always have) winterize the garden and put it to bed, rip out dead plants, etc. The post just explained how after august I stop maintaining it.

This is my first year on this land, all with new compost and fresh garden soils.

October 8, 2008 at 7:58 AM  
Blogger Carrie and Justin said...

Jenna, I know how you feel - that moment that you sit back and let everything just fade away. It's a wonderful deep sigh, I imagine it is how trees must feel as they let the leaves turn colors and fall off.

October 8, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

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