Lists & Harvesting

Posted on: September 25, 2010

by Deborah in the UP

Living in the woods, I got big on lists, it was the only way to keep myself organized to get everything done that needed doing. That hasn’t changed. In fact, being that it’s ‘just me’ that is doing the ‘doing’, I need to be more organized than ever before.

One of the most important lists I have, is called “Winter Prep-Fall Chores”. This is an on going list to remind me of all the little (and big) things I need to do in the Fall to be ready for winter. I will often reverse it in the Spring, but it’s not as critical to remember to turn the bird baths UP as it is to turn them Down.

I will admit that some items on the list are there just so I can feel good about checking them off, like cleaning the yard, or turning the garden after harvest, or knowing that I remembered to sweep the deck before that first snowfall!

It’s been a great week. I’ve worked on that Fall Prep list, bringing in the houseplants, checking the furnace filters, draining hoses and …putting up Christmas Lights! Now I know that doesn’t sound like much, but I love to be festive, and one year I waited a bit too long, and it was cold, and rainy and too windy to get on a ladder to put up lights. That did it, it went on my prep list so I could string lights when the weather was nice and I could enjoy that time. I don’t turn the lights on of course, not until Thanksgiving, but they’re ready to go! (I did test them out though… by leaving them on when I went out for the evening, and they lit up the house nicely for my return.)

This week I’ve also done a lot of harvesting. Here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, our first frost is very unpredictable. Last week I harvested all the tomatoes, separating the ripe from the semi-ripe from the green, then pulling up the plants. Same for the peppers, and the beans. It felt SO good to start putting the garden down. Today, since a freeze is predicted for tonight, I harvested a bucket of eggplant ( I’ve already eaten more eggplant in the past month, than I have in a year!), the very last of the hot peppers, and…the winter squash (picture posted). I like winter squash, since I really don’t have to do anything to it until I’m ready to cook it… nothing except store it. I’ve got WAY more than I can possibly use! Eight pumpkins, six butternuts, and a dozen Hubbards, blue and golden . The Hubbards are the bluish ones.. And some of them weigh 25#…. They’re HUGE! I do have plans to keep one and feed the rest to my brood of chickens thru out the winter. This is why I grew them, as an additional food source for my birds… just a bit more self-reliance. After cleaning out all the vines, I assessed what remained: dig up the potatoes, pull up the last row of beets, and harvest & pickle the brussel sprouts. Not a lot, considering how much canning I’ve done in the past month. Those can wait until after the frost/freeze, or until I’ve got more time. It was an exceptional year for the garden.

It’s been a great Fall so far, both for work and for garden work. My check book is full 🙂 and my pantry is full 🙂 .. what more could I ask for?

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