The world has changed so much since I last wrote. I will try to keep a record. Here in Maine I feel blessed, and, of course, afraid of what is too come. We are so lucky to have land to walk on, food, cats to snuggle with and lots of chickens and pretty eggs.
Winter is on the way. We expect snow later today. Yesterday I harvested the purple brussel sprouts, the last of the salad, and the final carrots.
I learned that certain plants can take a bunch of frosts and will definitely plant more of them next year. Things like carrots, parsnips, beets, peas (to a certain degree), rutabagas, kale, spinach, salad and cilantro have lasted well despite the cold and some with the help of row covers.
As of yesterday we are left with kale, spinach, parsley, some last salad greens under row cover, and some parsnips I am overwintering.
It has been a great season. At Veggies to Table, our non-profit, we have given away over 4200 pounds of fresh organic produce to our neighbors in need. Exciting times in Maine!
We knew it was coming and we busily harvested all that we could in the days leading up to it. We were able to get all of the squash, onions, tomatoes, and most of the carrots along with tomatillos, peppers and basil. We also picked, what seemed like tons of beans and flowers. There were zinnias, marigolds, dahlias and sunflowers.
Luckily we did this as last night the frost came and wiped out everything that was not frost hardy. Thankfully there is still a lot of lettuce, kale, spinach, radishes, leeks, brussel sprouts, arugula, parsnips, and some carrots growing in the garden.
The tomatoes have been ripening in the house (there are many), the dahlias have continued to bloom despite blackened leaves, there are still a few sunflowers, and the garden persists … for a while. Next year I will know to protect more crops from the first frost as now we have at least two weeks between that first frost and the next one!
It’s a mad dash to the finish line. We are harvesting like crazy as the nights are cool and frost is not far. There are still many tomatoes, peppers, salad, squash, radishes, spinach, kale, corn, tomatillos, and some more carrots, cucumber and zucchini. We also have a ton of zinnias, dahlias, sunflowers, and herbs. We continue to donate to community members in need through our non-profit Veggies to Table and are excited about the many collaborations and friendships we have formed along the way. Stay tuned for more on this once the harvest is finished.
We have been raising chickens for the past few years. Although we adore them, it has been a bumpy ride. Initially we let them run free … we quickly learned this would not work unless we were prepared to lose them (which we pretty much did) to predators. They are dinner for everyone from foxes, coyotes, fishers, owls, hawks, eagles, raccoons, skunks, and even the neighbors’ dog. We were forced to add an expensive electric fence. Since we have done this, things are better. Before the fence we lost over 35 chickens and were left with 14.
This spring we decided to hatch our own baby chicks. We ended up with 39 in total to add to the 14. Of the 39 . . . at least 15 are roosters. They are truly beautiful roosters Black Copper Marans, Blue Wheaten Marans, Easter Eggers and Ameraucana. Although we would love to keep them all, it’s just not possible.
If anyone is looking for a beautiful rooster or knows someone who is, let us know, please, we do not want them to end up in the pot!