Fall. It’s like the best of times and worst of times. On one hand – the great temperatures and clear blue skies make it great to work long days without the tiring effects of the burning sun and sweltering heat. On the other hand – those cooler temperatures and falling leaves are a reminder for us in Ohio of what is soon to come – snow, ice and freezing temperatures.
So with that in mind – we have a lot of chores that we need to get wrapped up before Mother Nature drives us indoors for most of the winter. This week we began to tackle the most neglected part of the farm – the entrance. For the two years since the farm project started – the entrance has been little more than a narrow gravel hill with a giant pile of dirt and a thicket of trees. Every time it rains – we get half of the driveway covered in mud. That needed to change.
Betsy (the old farm truck) got a work out this week. We used her to get a couple of two-ton loads of boulder rock. We will use the rock to match the rest of the stone that we have placed around the farm and create a wall for the driveway entrance.
It’s a slow process – digging out the edging and then rolling the boulders in place. But one by one we got most of the boulders in place. This week – hopefully we can use the truck to get a final load of boulders and a few loads of large gravel to complete the entrance. It is amazing how much having the old farm truck has saved us already. A typical load of the boulders would run $200 to $300 to have delivered – and we spent a grand total of $40 this week getting them ourselves. We really want to have all of the hardscaping in place by the end of fall – so we can be ready to fill all of the bed space with more ornamental grasses and transplants in the early spring. Hopefully we can get the same results we got from the back barn area transplants we did this spring.
Other Happenings Around The Farm This Week…
The last of the green beans were picked this week and canned. I would put our green bean crop in the “OK” category this year. We need to do a better job next year of succession planting and protecting the crop from the deer – but we were still able to enjoy quite a few meals of fresh green beans with enough left over to can a dozen or so pints.
Fall is the time to plant garlic in Ohio – so our crop went in this week. We use a ton of garlic in our house – so we expanded our planting this year to 100 cloves in a raised row bed. Hopefully – it’s another crop we can eliminate having to ever buy at the grocery store again. Garlic is super easy to plant – as simple as taking apart the cloves of a large bulb and planting them pointed side up – covering the bulbs with 1 to 2″ of soil. Garlic does really well in well drained and nutirent filled soil – so it’s another crop that benefits from great compost filled soil.
The cover crops of annual rye we have planted in some of the rows are coming up strong – they really help to retain the soil from washing away in the winter months – and add a lot of nutrients to the soil when we dig them under in the spring. Hopefully we can get the rest of the rows cleaned out and planted this week and be one step closer for being ready for Winter.
– Jim and Mary
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