Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the summer garden is gone

Impelled by last weekend's weather (3" here) and the prospect of more very soon, we nuked the summer garden today - a slow process of removing the infrastructure of stakes, trellis, drip tubes, and labels, followed by a chopping of the consideral amount of plant residue.

I'll rototill tomorrow, and then watch the forecast for imminent precipitation, with the goal of getting the cover crop seed in just before the next rain.

Gone - but not forgotten, because before we started the process of destruction we did a thorough gleaning which yielded copious amounts of red and green peppers (right), tomatoes, melons, beets, green beans and corn. Most of that bounty will go to the Galt Food Bank early tomorrow.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

from the air in early autumn

WWOOFer Hannah (young, adventurous, brave, and capable) took to the air with Pilot Bill and took this photo from overhead. It captures Kingbird in flux. The summer garden is still pumping out copious quantities of a few things - tomatoes, corn, cucumber. The winter garden is thriving with brassicas (several varieties of broccoli, chinese cabbage, bok choy), lettuce, and spinach doing very well.

In the forest, it's a moderately heavy acorn year (a sign, the old-timers say, of a wet winter) and they're dropping quickly. This weekend's forecasted rain will likely spur some significant leaf drop.

In the skies, we're entertained by cranes and large flocks of white-fronted geese. Closer to the ground, we're enjoying some of our signature winter birds (Say's phoebe, Northern flicker) and enduring the white-crowned sparrows, whose voracious attitude toward tender greens necessitates the white fabric covering many of the beds in the photo above.

Hannah in flight-suit - mission accomplished! - is below.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

late season melon feast

They are still coming. The pallette of flavors is across the board and hard to characterize - various mixes of pineapple, orange, lemon, lime, vanilla, floral, butterscotch, grape, berry, apple, peach. The flavors seem to improve as the season evolves, but perhaps that's just the contrast between the bright flavors and the summer garden as it fades from green to yellows and browns.

The names are a key part of the experience: Eel River, Marigold, Retato degli Ortolani, Tendral Valenciano, Piel de Sapo ("skin of the frog") ...
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