Saturday, November 27, 2010

The End

I'll mark today, November 27th at 4:15 pm as the end of the 2010 gardening year.

It was a long year.

Potatoes went in this year on the Thursday before Easter which is really early. April 1st to be exact. The date corresponded with the full moon and caused me some worry. The onions were already in the ground in garden plot number one. Every year I worry about the garden. Trees fall in the middle of the the field, not once, but twice. Floods submerge my plants causing me to replant in June after an especially nice beginning. The potato worry is lessened when I discovered young plants are recharged after the tips are frosted.

The row cover you see here is frozen to the ground. The pumpkins holding the cover in plants are iced. I managed to pry up the rear portion of the row cover where I removed the wire hoops over the bed. One spinach plant remained. Not only was the spinach plant alive and well, but it loved the cold so much it was like a small bunch of romaine lettuce. We're not talking medium cold. Two nights ago the temperatures at first light were 12 degrees. The grass is brittle and crunches under foot.

Johann invited me up to visit the construction on his cabin. I told him I'd come when the outside air hit 30 degrees. It took until mid afternoon. Mountain Man Johann was working hatless in a ragged flannel shirt. His wind generator was spinning so fast that if it weren't anchored to the cabin, it would have flown to the next county. I'm wearing two heavy layers and a winter coat. Standing on the first floor of a yet to be enclosed cabin, I covered my ear flap cap with the hood of the parka. I was still cold. The view from the west window of his cabin is breathless and looks down a five mile valley.

Thanksgiving is always a let down because Dawn usually has to work. Years ago, when she worked for the post office, the holiday mail rush interfered with holiday plans. My usual routine is to work odd jobs. This year I cleaned the basement floor and did laundry. I cooked a half turkey but started it too early. The result was disappointing. To bolster my wounded chef ego, the next day I made fantastic, chewy chocolate chip cookies like my Grandmother used to bake. I also made whole wheat buns and a small loaf of whole wheat bread. Last week's oatmeal cookies turned out so well, I'm enthused about trying more complicated recipes. A sourdough bread, artisan crunchy bread with Asiago cheese and perhaps a traditional French baguette-you know the kind a Parisian would tuck under an arm while shopping at the boulangerie.

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