Random Thoughts

Another Productive Year Ending 

... Lots of hard work, but worth it.

Bob Ross

Summer has ended and fall is here. Frost killed the garden and it is mostly cleared. A few cold weather things still struggling along. Soon it will be snowing and we will be confined to inside activities. Not counting snow removal: hopefully we wont have too much this year.

Each year we have a vegetable garden. I got interested in gardening because of my father-in-law. His garden was about 50' x 100'. Rich soil after over 50 years of enriching it with cow and chicken droppings. He grew all vegetables imaginable. The thing I liked most was the tomatoes. Really delicious tasting in a BLT sandwich or fresh off the vine. I ate lots of tomatoes from his garden and assisted in canning hundred of quarts.

When I retired from the Navy and had my own home, we dedicated a 15' x 15' section at the rear of the yard to our garden spot. I put manure down as Pa told me, worked it and we did well. Oh yes, it is lots of work, but the results are well worth the effort. Our children and the neighbors liked it also, as we shared our abundant supply with them.   

Each spring when the snow melts and the frozen ground thaws I turn it over. Use to do it with a shovel but age got the best of me and it was too much work. I bought a TroyBuilt tiller, Rear tines, a couple of years ago... takes maybe 30 minutes to do now.

Now that the garden has past, I am preparing for next year. Mulch all the leaves and distribute on the garden patch, spread fertilizer over it and let Mother Nature take care of it till next spring.

This year was a lousy year for gardening. Not only the home garderner, but the professional farmers also. It was dry, little rain, and nothing did well.. except the cucumbers. We had the best supply of cucumbers we ever had. Only thing wrong with that, I hate them and do not eat them at all. We gave most to the neighbors.

In May, Lil planted some Flowering Kale. It took forever to begin to grow, and even after putting in the ground, it just didnt do anything. I wanted to pull it up and use the space for something else, but Lil decided to plant them around the edge of the driveway. Nothing happened for a couple of months. Little scrawney things suddenly began to grow in August or September, dont really know when.

Every day they began to take on different colors, and got fairly big. They were not grown to eat, but as decorations. They turned out fine, as you can see by the pictures.

It is now November, and they still grow. The trees are barren (nearly) and I have cut the grass every week, primarily so I do not have to rake leaves. The mower chews them up to small pieces and this goes on the garden. I hope this week will be the end, and I can clean up and service the lawn mower, store it for winter. Already have the Snow Blower out, serviced and ready to go. Living in the Northeast, its better to be prepared.

So, another year is nearly behind us, and snow will soon be with us. The tasty produce will give way to the tasteless stuff sold in stores until next year. We will manage, eat less, remember all the goodies from this year, now ending.

January 7, 2000

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