Friday, October 8, 2010

Why Can't Fall Last for About Four Months?

We had a wind storm this past Wednesday which took a lot of leaves off our trees.

Nearly all the popple trees are bare and the birches are valiantly hanging on to about half of their leaves. Our front deck below this big birch has windrows of leaves on it.

Our driveway that was a riot of colors the first of this week is now looking close to November bare.

I took this picture at about 5 o'clock this afternoon with the sun quickly falling into the western horizon behind me.

After doing some serious thinking about the wireworm problem in our potatoes (I dreamed about it last night, for Pete's sake), I decided that the sooner we got the potatoes out of the ground and the unaffected ones safely stored by themselves far, far away from any hint of a wireworm, the better off our winter supply of potatoes would be.

What a job. We dug about half the potatoes today, carefully inspecting each and every one for those blasted worm holes, and sorted them into two groups. Good taters and bad taters.

I tried really, really hard to maintain my usual sunny disposition (ahem) and remain optimistic. Each time I discovered a big, beautiful potato riddled with holes and rampant with those ugly, wiggly, despicable worms (shudder), I put out a little sentiment of gratitude that not ALL the potatoes have been affected.

We could have finished the whole job today if not for a couple of other things on the schedule that needed tending to. We'll finish up tomorrow, be done with the task and then I'll start working on the "bad" taters prepping them (most likely) for the freezer.

Hubby and I both commented when we were working in the garden today that typically we're digging potatoes in damp, nasty, cold weather. So much so that we have to stop periodically to come in to the house to warm up our hands or get more clothing. Today was so unseasonably warm hubby was stripped down to his t-shirt and I had to go find a sleeveless blouse I had packed away with the summer clothes. We both actually got pretty darn sweaty working in the full sunlight.

Complaints, complaints. I promise to stop the kvetching if we get lots more of those gorgeous fall days that are perfect "sweatshirt weather." How 'bout, say, two more months of them?


Erin said...

I'm so sorry about those potatoes! You all work so hard to have such a productive garden in the short season you have it must be very disappointing when harvest years like this happen, I hope you are at least able to salvage as much as you can out of the ones that need to be frozen or canned. Beautiful photos!

Anonymous said...

Oh no on the potatoes:( We have had nearly 2 weeks of rain, and lost a lot of our leaves too, although not all of them have changed yet, kinda weird fall this year.

mtnchild said...

Booo on bad taters!! I've cut good taters in cubes, boiled them and then freeze. I use them as fried potatoes. Yumm... Let us know what the stats are good to bad. Is there anything you can do to the soil to get rid of these worms?

Sue said...

So sad about the taters---but, NEXT YEAR will be better. That's the thing with gardening, ya never know what surprises you'll be getting (like short sleeve shirt weather in OCTOBER!)
We are barely hanging on to our leaves here-the color is not as good as some years, but still so much so that everything just "glows". I dread that big wind that takes them away........

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I love fall also, but It can get a bit messy. These few months of it are great but so is a good snow. Plus the ground freezes and you don't have the foot of mud that is a true sign of fall here. I get tired of wiping 8 dog feet.

Mama Pea said...

Erin - As a fellow gardener, you know you never can tell how something is going to turn out. Even if a harvest is a complete bust, it's certainly not a life and death situation for us. But it sure does make me think of the early homesteaders/pioneers whose crop failure meant they would go hungry. Now that was something to get upset about!

Stephanie - We're still on the dry side . . . could use some of your rain. Please send.

Yvette - Potato stats coming up in next post. Outside of putting a bad poison on the soil (which we will not do) the only solutions I've found for the wireworms are to be sure to rotate your crops (which I've always done) or let the land lie fallow for a year.

Sue - My least favorite time of year is after the leaves go and before snow falls. The landscape is so drab and dreary! Gray, gray. Bleak, bleak.

Jane - Winter and snow for sure! It's our favorite time of year. You must get lots more rain in the fall than we do. Your description of your fall mud sounds just like our spring mud --- which I hate! I love it in the winter when the dog comes in with nothing but clean snow on her feet. :o)

Susan said...

Wire worms would keep me up for nights! Eck, what a thought... I love fall as well - I'd rather have it than most months. How about: spring, fall, fall, fall, spring, etc.?

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Your plan sounds good but I have to have some winter months when there is nothing to do outside (ha! what a dreamer I am) so I have more time inside for reading, quilting, knitting, catching up everything I let slide in the crazy summer months!