Welcome Routine…..

I was so excited for today. The official start of the school season, the day after Labor Day, and the day I get to start this routine I have been waiting so impatiently for. Wouldn’t you know, nothing ever works as planned. I learned that long ago, so I don’t get too disappointed when it does not go as planned, but we were up too late last night. My lovely son, who has three sleep disorders and usually the one I am waiting on to go to bed, was the only one asleep earlier than usual. I was ecstatic…what is this? He is asleep by ten…that is unheard of! I should have known it was too good to be true, since he woke up this morning in a cold sweat with a fever and sore throat!. Ugh! So, he lies on the couch eating chicken noodle soup and cucumbers, watching cartoons, while I toil through my day. It’s not bad. He is pretty low maintenance when he is sick, and he doesn’t get sick often any more (this was not always the case, as you will learn through time with me). The turkey fry was great. Nice, quiet, pretty low key. Just a couple of close friends. The potato salad was delicious, and got eaten up quickly, but I still cant get that one last thing right about the coleslaw. Its pretty good, but something is just not what I am looking for, we did, however, eat most of it. Hubby is going to smoke a turkey this weekend. It will be our first smoking experience and we are quite excited. We all went out and picked buckets of apples at the end of the night, it couldn’t have been nicer.

One of my girlfriends and I really enjoy a lot of the same types of gardening and craft stuff, and we trade magazines back and forth as we get new ones. I have four new mags to read now. Two Mother Earth News, and Two Grit. In exchange she got HobbyFarms and Urban Farming from me. We will trade for a couple weeks then return each others mags. In the winter it’s craft books and magazines we share. I love this aspect of our friendship! We always have new stuff to talk about that we are both interested in.

Did I already mention that tire farming is the way to go with gourds and melons? I had six stacks of tires lined up, each two tires tall. I cannot believe how well the warm season veggies and fruits did in those! It must be the heat generated by the dark rubber. All I know is I am sold! I have never successfully grown melons here, most people don’t even try unless they have a greenhouse. I grew mine in tires and I will do it again next year. I am already fantasizing about how I am going to make hoops for them when I have my own place. The landlord here is pretty picky about how stuff looks. He is already quite irritated that I would grow a “kitchen garden”, as gardens don’t belong near the house, and he even told me I was lucky he didn’t make me tear it all up. Ugh! Renting can be so hard sometimes. It’s his land, so I have to respect him, not to mention the fact that he is 50 years my elder, and I respect my elders! It just seems he is so close minded about what a garden is supposed to be. He is completely opposed to succession planting or container cropping. While I have already harvested enough veggies to make it worth my while, he insists I am never gonna reap any benefit from it. Can’t he see all the tomato and peppers bursting from every plant out there. What about the melons and sunflowers? What about the heads of lettuce and big fluffy carrot fronds? And oh yeah, “your watering all wrong”. The thing is, I am not. I spend hours and hours researching, learning, reading…..I am a nerd. When something captures me, I want to learn all I can about it. I even studied in Land management and Ecology at the local state university until my sons handicaps and single parenthood were more than I could do on top of work and school. I digress…

I plan to have an entire row of tires for my homestead garden, and I plan to grow all of my warmest season crops in them, and I intend to make row covers for them (because last week we came two degrees from a frost and I was very worried). I imagine the row covers will have to be quite large to cover full grown, fruit producing squash, melons, and gourds, but I believe we can come up with something very manageable. They work so well, and one of the things that I really love, is that the fruit don’t sit in the dirt. That really drives me nuts, the fruit lying in the dirt, not ripening and just waiting for bugs to devour them. I absolutely LOVE that they are not in the dirt but hanging on the sides of the tires, and now that they are so large you cannot even see the tires under them.

I look forward to the early evening when it cools down enough to comfortably work in the garden. Before ten am, it’s almost to cold to work out there, and when it’s not to cold, it gets hot fast. so, it cools down to the nice seventies in the evenings, and the sun is low. Perfect for gardening. Usually right before or after dinner is when I spend my time in the garden. Today I have to learn how to process apples. I want to do so many things with them. I can’t decide if I should can them, freeze them, make applesauce with some….guess my next destination is some web page that details the best way to put up apples for multiple uses….and on that note, have a blessed day!

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