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Monday, November 4, 2013

Winter Finding - a Busy Tide

There are times and there and tides and as they say, time and tide waits for no one. But times are short busts of not waiting and tides are longer ones... and when one gets caught or wrapped up in either, then that is just what is happening and one waits to write about it until it passes.

Winter Finding -- the tide that happens about now.. around secular Halloween, or All Hallows, or Samhain (if you are a Pagan) and flows into the first part of November -- is finally releasing its grip on me here in Maine. No, the first snow -- which falls and often scares folks into wrapping their homes' underpinnings with plastic and insulation, into raking the leaves that have fallen even if there are still lots on the trees, into picking up the bits and pieces of life and chores that get strewn about the farm and homestead over a summer of workings -- the coiled up hoses, empty pots and such -- that first snow was threatened by the weather guessers but failed to materialize. Never the less, Winter Finding is loosening its grip and I have a moment to write.

Tractor Guy breaking ground to move the garden north.
We, or more exactly I should say Tractor Guy has been busy starting to put the garden to bed and working on moving/enlarging it for next year. I want to be able to keep the electric deer fence up and still have the room for him to work with the tractor. This means that, to keep from making the usable space smaller, we need to open more ground to the north of the existing garden. On the south, you see, the road is on higher ground than the garden level and I need to keep the deer fence back away from the road bank so that the deer cannot just leap from the road and clear both rows of fencing. On the north side, the fence can run across what is just a grassy field.

The lettuce is still standing in the covered row, seen behind the tractor in the picture, and there are kale, Brussels sprouts and bit of cutting celery still standing also. But the remainder of the garden is put to bed, at least minimally. I hope that the west garden, the parts that await more berries and perennials, can be cultivated before the ground freezes, but at present the tractor is parked on account of a broken leveling arm for the implements. We will go visit a welder today, as we have not been able to find a replacement (a) locally or (b) for what we consider a reasonable price. Wish us luck!

The "zero air move" as applied to
leaves in a Subaru.
Garlic bed, under mulch, awaits winter.
Having "the only land in Maine with no trees" I have been looking for a source of leaves for mulch protection on some of the perennials and the garlic and lucked into a car load recently. Oh, yeah, a CAR load... my pickup, Artie, is also on the "sick, lame and lazy list" at the mechanic for what I hope is NOT major engine issues. So I am hauling everything with Boo, the Subaru. Anyway, this was the first of two loads of leaves I scored in town. This one got stored in the garage, for later, as rain was in the forecast and time did not allow me to place them. However, the second batch, hauled a few days later, is currently mulching the garlic, held in place against our almost constant winds, by the same row cover I used on the lettuce.

Peek-a-boo! Fresh lettuce!
Lettuce under cover. Wire hoops hold
row cover up, plastic bags of soil
hold it in place against the wind.
And speaking of lettuce, when I go pick this week for the buyers club, I will bring a section of currently covered lettuce from each end of the row, out from UNDER cover, to have a better idea of how much protection the cover gives me... how much longer it extends the harvest. There are different varieties of lettuce at each end of the row: the south end is a summertime mix, the north end is a winter mix, and thus far they are both standing quite well.

In the world of hex, I have been busy continuing to paint and ship signs. I am currently working on a custom Yearly Blessing sign centered upon a cute little doxie. How I got to be the painter of dogs, I am not sure. Others that have been shipped recently include:
Heart Chakra, 12" outdoor sign

Abundance and Prosperity 48" outdoor sign

Inspiration, 14" indoor sign
seen in the rising sun

14" Double Creator's Star
indoor sign seen in rising sun

So, life continues to be busy here even though the season is turning. I look forward to being able to spend time at my spinning wheel as soon as the remainder of the garden is put to bed, the perennials mulched and the snow falls.