This Columbus Day weekend the dawns were beautiful, if only briefly, but it was a nice change after a cold, dreary, damp week. This is the view from our bedroom window.
The long weekend means a short but intense Bake Sale Season. There were bake sales everywhere. Henry took my apple pie down to the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club Pie Sale, and dodged 6th graders in the parking lot at Avery’s. They weren’t quite ready to sell, but when he got to the Heath Library sales were brisk. I baked cookies and brownies and bread yesterday and spent Saturday morning here. I’m happy to say that we made a lot of eaters happy, as well as our librarian who can now buy some extra books. Young Hazel had baked for the sale early in the morning, but she got her reward – once she made up her mind.
Once home from the Bake Sale Henry and I had a lot to do outside, especially since last week was so cold and wet. We felt the season rushing past, in the fields and in the garden. I had beds to dig and weed, squash and lettuce to harvest in the vegetable garden. I made a good start, but there is more to do. My big priority was planting the garlic that I bought at The Garlic and Arts Festival. Garlic is almost the last thing to be planted during the last planting season of the year. First I dug and weeded the 3 x 6 foot bed where 4 tomato plants grew – and had to be removed because of Late Blight. This bed is at the end of the raspberry patch, just on the other side of my post-modern orange snowfence.
The soil in this spot is pretty good, but I thought it really needed some lime. Garlic will grow almost anywhere – in the sun – but a pH between 6.2 and 6.8 is idea. I think my soil is nowhere near 6.8. I promise I will get a soil test.
I incorporated the lime and was ready to plant, following the directions on the Seeds of Solidarity package. I split my five garlic bulbs and arranged the 37 cloves in three rows about 6 inches apart in every direction. I planted them in alphabetical order beginning with the row nearest the fence, Belarus, German White, Music (2 bulbs) and Purple Glazer. I pushed each clove 2 to 3 inches into the soil. Just like planting seeds, except that I’m doing this in October.
Having made such a nice neat garlic bed, all mulched with straw, I felt I should finish making this area neater. I had already gotten new cardboard, so I made a quick trip to the public wood chip pile in the old station wagon.
Two nights of heavy frost killed the sweet peas, dahlias and the cosmos, but not the broccoli, parsley or Brussels sprouts, you’ll notice. I cleaned the flowers out of the garden, laid out cardboard over the sections of the path around the new garlic bed and covered it with 4 wheelbarrow loads of woodchips. We don’t have a truck, or a way to the garden with a vehicle, so this is a terrific way to get exercise. Hah!
And a way to get tired. Henry returned from the fields and it was time to make supper, Pasta! Then to the easy chair, and the fire to sit down and finish reading the Sunday paper. The temperature is dropping again, and there is even the possibility of snow tonight. Surely not!