Our way-too-hot and humid summer is over. We've even had a few nights of frost warnings to convince us of that. Fortunately, the lowest overnight temp we've recorded so far has been 35° and although we saw a frost coating on the garage roof, nothing in the garden has been touched yet.
Like many of you, autumn is my very favorite season of the year. It's also an action-packed time around this small homestead. There's a feeling of pressure to finish all the outside tasks that are oh-so-much easier to accomplish before cold weather sets in.
And, of course, all of the garden areas need to be cleaned, fertilized with beautiful black compost and readied to be tucked in for the next seven months.
Another indication that we've moved out of summer and into our fall season is that I didn't hesitate to turn on the oven and roast a turkey yesterday. No, I didn't have a big get together of folks seated around my table to help devour the fourteen pound bird. It was just the two of us enjoying dinner last night although our daughter stopped by on her way from work and took a plate home with her to be warmed up for her dinner.
Several times during the year, I roast a turkey so I have the leftover meat packaged in the freezer to use for other meals. I had avoided turning on the big oven over our hot summer months so this cooler weather was definitely the time for cooking another turkey. Tomorrow I'll cut all the meat off the bones, put all the bones and scraps in my biggest stock pot with water, onions, carrots, celery and some herbs and start it all simmering for a couple of days to produce quarts of rich, nutritious bone broth.
I harvested carrots and onions today. The onion crop is dismal this year. I don't know exactly what happened. I may post more about that later.
I planted only a 4' x 4' area in one of the raised beds to carrots this year. Out of that small space I got 23 pounds of straight, long, nice carrots.
And also more misshapen, twisted, malformed, ugly carrots than I've ever seen. (In the picture above, that is ONE carrot on the far right.) Good grief. I don't know what caused this. Usually I'll find a couple/few that grow like this but never this many. The soil was friable and free of gravel. I thinned the carrots twice so know they didn't grow too close together. If all of these ugly-buglies had been straight carrots, I'd have had more than the 23 pounds. But what I did save will be more than ample for our year's supply.
Next to harvest will be the potatoes. I may get my good gardener button taken away because I didn't have enough seed potatoes left this spring to plant as many potatoes as I should have and didn't want to spend the money to buy more from one of the seed company catalogs. Penny wise and pound foolish? We shall see.
Alas, my summer decorations are still glaring at me as I move around inside the house. Just when am I going to pack them away and put out all the colorful fall decorations? I'd better shift that project to the top of the list PDQ because the couple of months of fall are, indeed, upon us in our northern area of the country and it never, ever lasts long enough.