Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Late October garden tasks

We're looking forward to the winter months, where we take time to reflect, read, research and plan for next season's activities. One point that I took from Vandana Shiva's presentation at the university last week was the imperative to link ecological food production, poverty reduction, and climate change together - any solutions or actions we come up with should be addressing all three areas to be truly effective and sustainable. I hope to delve more into this topic through her latest book, Soil not Oil, this winter. Also, included on the ever expanding reading list are Arundrati Roy's Living with Grasshoppers, Novella Carpenter's urban farming book, a SPIN-Farming manual, and Eliot Coleman's Winter Harvest Handbook, as well as a few crafting books like the Handmade Home (I plan to keep my basket of sewing right near the woodstove, so I take real time to settle down and work on some projects each day). By the way, yes, we did finally take the plunge and decide on a woodstove - a small Jotul model - it has arrived and is awaiting installation. More on this in another post when we install it, light the first fire, warm a pot of soup on the cookplate and take a few photos...

For fall wrap up we are now pretty much done in the yard and garden. Seeds collected, vines pulled out, mulch spread, compost turned, winter greens planted...The garlic still needs to be planted, and as we are planning on reworking out garden layout for next year (putting in smaller 30-inch wide beds, instead of 48-inch as we now have them, and narrower paths - all to maximize our growing potential), I have yet to measure out where to plant garlic so it will be in a proper bed next season. The coldframe has been planted with greens, spinach, chard, herbs, chicory, and mizuna, and the plastic cover is reinstalled to keep the bed warm on sunny winter days. We need to transplant some flats of seedlings into the greenhouse beds (various lettuces for winter consumption) and then we're ready for winter.

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