Putting the Garden to Bed

I lost it somewhere in the middle of August. There was too much to do for Solarize Massachusetts, for Transition Wayland. So I lost the garden. The plants kept on growing, but so did the weeds and the pests. I stopped watering the tomatoes and peppers in the hoop house altogether. We never managed to put that irrigation in and they were already so stressed out from spotty watering that they were no longer worth the effort. I also didn’t start Fall vegetable seedlings, and so have nothing to transplant into the hoop house now. The hoop house needs some work as well: doors, to begin with, and a new tightening and fastening of the plastic.

I don’t mind much. I sacrificed it for something very worthwhile and productive. Next season!

But, now my parents are here and they’re helping me put the garden to bed, in style. We bought four big straw bales, enough for all the beds.

Then we sourced some fresh horse manure from our neighbor. The first trip, with two wheelbarrows, the three of us did on foot. It’s a five-minute downhill walk with empty barrows, a fifteen-minute, uphill one with full ones. We were looking at four more such trips and decided that the use of fossil fuels was justified. The back of my station wagon holds four smallish barrows.

Here’s our stash of manure, waiting for more beds to be cleared of plants and weeds. In most beds we work it lightly into the top layer, but in two beds, as an experiment, we’re digging it in.

Pulling all those plants means harvesting them, and here is our last or next-to-last harvest: last leeks, chard, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumber, zucchini,  eggplants, physalis berries. The eggs we just pulled from the nest boxes, so I stuck ’em in there.

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