Garden

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It sort of feels like the garden off-season even though things are still very much growing. We haven’t had much frost to speak of and it is actually in the 80s today. But because most everything is greens and roots, we are simply eating loads of it every day and I am taking a break from the ferment jars and canners. This Cimarron Lettuce, above, is looking big enough for salads now.

We currently have two beds in the Chicken Field that look like this. A mix of radishes, turnips, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, and tatsoi.Tatsoi is this nifty little green that is supposed to be cold hardy down to 15 degrees. We haven’t even come close to that yet so we will see how it fares as winter sets in… if winter sets in. It is tasty, though, and we have been eating it in salads. Though it is of the mustard family it is quite mild.

And then there is this patch we broadcast-seeded with turnips and kale. We ate the turnip greens in salads as babies and now we are pulling the greens for Mabel and the goats mostly. The back half of this picture is the sea of kale we are eating from currently. There is also some mustard and collard greens spread out beyond this photo.

The beets were a major fail this fall and so we will maybe try again early next spring. Abram’s beets are doing really well, however, as are his greens and carrots. I am pretty sure there is something like a green thumb in his bones but I’m wondering, if it was from me, if it didn’t skip a generation.

We are so grateful for fresh salads and greens available daily right now. These beds mostly grew themselves so we are concentrating our energy elsewhere, preparing spring garden beds, finishing up book projects, and focusing a lot on schoolwork. Lord willing, before we know it it will be January – time to start seeds indoors! – and February – time to plant potatoes! – and the garden will sweep us away once again.

Are you still able to grow or harvest where you are at, friends?

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Frost kissed the pumpkin leaves this week and though they and the sweet potato leaves blackened a bit, everything in the garden still stands.

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Well, except the okra we hacked down a couple of weeks ago. In its place – and in the bed next door – now sit oodles of radishes and turnips and tatsoi with some lettuce, cabbage, and cauliflower babies in between. We haven’t had much rain but still, the fall garden and these crops generally grow themselves. Especially those radishes and turnips.

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The hens, too, have been quite generous lately. The flock has become a bit unwieldy as I haven’t really done much in the way of culling or even paying much attention in recent months. They are taken care of every day and they keep giving eggs which, I suppose, is reason enough to leave well enough alone.

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Most of the comfrey survived summer! I am not sure that this has happened in all of the years we have tried planting it; usually at least most of them die.

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Right around the time we cut back the okra, the garlic started to go in.

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And it’s already coming up with gusto. I think we have more we want to plant and certainly there are onions to put in and could someone please tell me how to grow more beets? Somehow getting these guys from seed to a safe size has proven extraordinarily difficult and am I the only one who could eat these earthy beauties every single day and be quite happy?

Baby greens have provided us with lovely salads and the mustard and collard greens are loving these cooler temperatures. As the days grow dark earlier and the mornings lean closer and closer to frost, I am actually looking forward to a somewhat “off season” in which we aren’t planting and harvesting regularly. Such abundance we have been given; such abundance.