Sometime in June I blinked, and BLAMO!  It’s October.

Most of my writing efforts this summer have focused on becoming unexpected duck farmers and The Scattering.

The homestead vegetation has been unaffected by my lack of record keeping.

Our fence worked wonders for the vegetable production this year!  It is amazing (not really) what keeping the chickens and sheep away from the garden did for yield.

We managed to plant the garden almost entirely from our last year’s seed stock.   Our selection was limited to things that would produce a product we would actually eat over the winter.

It is not all for consumption,  I like the perennial bulbs for show.  No work and flowers every year.

There were some Irises already here when we bought the house but have trippled in size.  They are the first to bloom.  A welcome beginning to the growing season.

 

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Border Lilies and Day Lilies showed off nicely this year.

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The Easter Lilies have the most intoxicating fragrance. I wish they bloomed all summer long!

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For food production we settled on a few staples:

Beans- Scarlet Runners, Black beans and Soy

Popcorn- Dakota Black

Pumpkins

Butternut squash

Tomatoes

Medicinal Herbs- Yarrow, St Johns Wart, Plantain, Comfrey, Calendula (there will be a separate post on tincture making when I get my head out from up my…)

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St Johns Wart, Ghost Plant (from the forest,) Plantain, Yarrow.

The Scarlet Runner beans have the added bonus of being beautiful. I love the color and humming birds they add to the yard.

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We planted several patches of them, to see where they did best.  The corn to the right of the trellis were bent to the ground by a summer storm but they recovered nicely.  The trick is NOT to try and push them up, as that seems to snap the stock more often than not.

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Our pumpkin/ butternut squash patch took up most of the front yard by late summer.

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Also pictured here are tomatoes to the far left.  Yarrow right in the front and more volunteer tomatoes in front and behind the trough.   Our apple trees didn’t bloom this year but we have our fingers crossed for 2017.  The husky LOVED the new yard and all the places to take naps in the pumpkin patch.

Now that fall is here, we are reaping the harvest we sewed all those short months ago.

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We decided on Dakota Black Popcorn for our corn this year.  We eat A LOT of popcorn.  Given the limited size of the yard we thought it would give us the best chance at something we can enjoy into the winter months.

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As of today, we have seed stock for next year AND about 30 nights of movie popcorn!  We started our daily tomato canning, with each day’s recipe dictated by the harvest.

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We have Raspberry vines, Grapes, and Black Berries that are now established and taking over the front deck.

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After a fall pruning we hope for a more impressive harvest next year.  Our grapes were small, but not at all sour.

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Now that summer is over, I can say for sure that this year was better than the last. Something to be truly thankful for.   There is a saying I love:

“Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”

We planted wisely and got lucky, this year.  As the days turn cold I am grateful for the harvest we received from our little patch of earth.   We will focus on storing our seeds.  Each one: a little piece of hope for next spring, wrapped in a memory of the summer past.

Be well!

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