Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Wrapping up the garden & working on the pit greenhouse

The final tally:
Hubbard squash - 3
Butternut squash - 8
Kubochu squash - 3
Buttercup squash - 3
Tomatillo - so damn many
Tomatoes - scads (eaten fresh; cooked in galettes, tarts, salsa, and bruschetta; processed into pizza sauce and frozen)
Jalapeno - 8
Zucchini and yellow summer squash - more than it was possible to eat ourselves but we sure tried as galettes, grilled, frittered, and stuffed. Some got grated and frozen for use in meatloaf this winter. Oh, and much zucchini bread and double chocolate zucchini cake got baked (and eaten) too.
Cucumbers - enough to eat fresh, make two pints of dills, and share with Dad. Not many but what we got tasted great.

Then it was time to put the garden to bed for the winter. I decided to use the "Ruth Stout" method which basically means putting down thick layers of hay or straw or leaves or just about anything else compostable and then letting it lie there all winter. In the spring, you clear away the layer, plant the seeds or seedlings, tuck them in, and ignore them all summer. Now, the odds that I'll actually just leave the garden alone all next summer are right up there with winning the lottery so we'll just say that I put down a heavy layer of mulch and leave it at that.

The greatest thing about this was that we'd gone to my favorite local feed store to buy pellets and hay bales for the chicken coop and just happened to ask if they had any spoiled straw/hay that they'd like to get rid of; and they did! We got two truck loads of free hay and straw bales that I happily used to layer on both the main garden and the kitchen garden. Woot!

Cooper and chickens helping tuck in the main garden
Chris has also been diligently working on the pit greenhouse. He'd gotten started on this quite a while ago, but then life happened and it took a backseat to, well, everything. But much progress has since been made.
The pit, wall rocks, and the coop in background
 The only part that existed prior to all his hard work was the tall back wall and the stairwell.
Building walls
Actually, even the stairwell needed work as the many of the treads were missing. Where on earth huge slabs of stair tread could have gone is anyone's guess, but they were definitely not there.
Coming down the replaced treads
He's actually gotten a lot more done - the new walls are nearly level with the original wall and top of stairs now. I'd show a photo but it's covered by at about a foot of snow. Yes, we're already getting lots of snow and it's definitely not melting off.
Back wall is nearly 6 ft above ground level
Still lots to do here but I figure I'll be able to use it by end of summer to do some late fall/early winter gardening. Greens! In October! 

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