The Holiday Season

Obviously there’s not a lot going on in the garden this time of year, at least here in the high desert of central Oregon, so I haven’t posted anything in a while.  We do have a cold frame up and the garden greens continue to roll in, thanks to my wife’s diligence and persistence in growing fresh healthy food for our family.  Though it freezes most nights it is amazing what continues to grow in the cold frame.  The lettuce is nearly bursting through the roof and some beautiful dark green spinach is not far behind.  The cabbage continues to grow too, but it is more of an experiment to see what happens. 

We also canned six more quarts of tomatoes this last weekend.  If you cover your tomato plants to protect them from the early frosts it is surprising how far you can carry them into the fall.  So a couple weeks ago we picked the last of them and laid them out to ripen on a table in the garage.  Those last tomatoes provided us with another batch of tomatoes to be used for sauce.  There are also a few we will allow to ripen to put in salads well into December. 

As far as the bees go I have already lost one of the six hives.  Its one of those unknowns that comes with beekeeping.  On Oct. 5 the hive was full of bees and looking healthy.  Three weeks later they were gone – the hive had collapsed.  I did take the opportunity to harvest the honey they had stored for winter but would have preferred to have the bees.  I will be taking some beekeeping classes over the course of the winter with the first class beginning tomorrow and may post some of what I learn in the class. 

With the exception of putting a little straw around the base of my young grape plants to provide insulation from freezing, the garden is put to bed.  That includes cleaning out the chicken coop and tossing the manure into the garden beds so it can weather and break down throughout the winter.

This is the time of year I turn my attention to writing and as such have just begin the sequel to my first book Truth’s Blood.  I will also be at a book signing this Friday evening at a local book store. 

My best to each of you and my your holiday season be stress free and fun!

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