Fall Projects

We pack in the projects this time of year: harvesting, planting bulbs, moving the greenhouse plants back into the greenhouse from their summer quarters outside and generally getting things ready for winter. We haven’t had a killing frost yet, but the weather forecast predicts we’ll get one tonight. It’s almost a full moon, and full moons almost always bring cold nights.

With frost danger so ever present, our main focus this past week has been to harvest our Red Shiso. It’s a really good crop this year with leaves a lovely deep maroon. This means our Red Shiso stabilizer should be nice and deep pink this coming year.

Here’s the last of the Red Shiso, covered last night with a generous amount of season extender cloth. Almost all the crop is already cut and hung in our Red Shiso building. This building got a face lift this summer when Jim, Will and Ben jacked up the building to redo the foundation, built a new set of steps into the building, and made repairs to keep the building watertight and animal proof. As Sophie, Lizzy and I hauled bundle after bundle down to the building, the joke was that someone is going to want to move into the Red Shiso palace, maybe soon. It looks beautiful!

In between Shiso harvesting, this weekend saw me beginning to prepare garden beds for planting fall bulbs. This involved moving a lot of compost to improve the soil before the bulbs get planted. Jim made me a great screen for compost sifting. Examining what’s left after I sift the compost has elevated this job to something rather fun.

As I shovel and sift I ponder long and hard about how on earth a bucketful of this:

gives me such beautiful soil but also so many strange lingering artifacts.


So many compelling questions like…
Have I really broken THAT many clay pots?
Do we really eat THAT many peaches?
Why do vegetable stickers never decompose?
And what is with the PINK MAGIC MARKER in the compost heap? Who composted that?

Ah yes…..Simple pleasures for simple people.

And given the number of compost nerds in my household, expecting us to properly sort and compost every last cupcake paper and dandelion root, its probably an excellent thing I am so easily entertained, because all this composting has left me with an awful lot of compost to sift and sort.

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