Autumn Equinox and we head into the darkest nights of the year. The days have been shortening since Summer Solstice June 21, becoming noticeable around August. We bow to the deep dark and withdraw back and in and down in reflection and visions of the season 2020. I like to write an assessment this time of year looking back over the season and what went well and not so well.
Truck went out last week and we got them up to the mechanic thinking it was the trasnsmission. It turns out the wire harness had an electrical fire sometime ago and the issues have just manifested. We have a 1998 Chevy Tahoe, one of the last models with barn doors. We were just getting into the electronic age with push button 4 x 4. Barn doors are excellent for an edible landscaper for obvious reasons. The only other better option would be a pickup truck. Tahoe is a great truck. We will go take a look today to decide on replacing the wire harness.
It’s time to put the gardens to sleep. I cleared out Garlic bed at SDG and laid down hay. I started early this season because I didn’t get all the beds finished by mid-November when I travel to Miami for Thanksgiving. Hay suppresses weeds and feeds the soil. Come Spring, I just have to move the hay aside and plant. Hay is the Winter coat for the beds.
I say good-bye to Flora Jones Garden after nine years. It was my experimental garden, where I had the opportunity to learn edible landscape and go wild! I cannot be sad for the end because it is time. Family and friends have expressed their chagrin and I am aging and probably should cut back on gardens, not to mention I could use another day to develop as a businesswoman. Flora has asked me to finish at the end of the month and I am delighted. I developed an edible landscape. I let the land be itself and show me her beauty, her bounty. I harvested Wild Salad out of Flora Jones. She will be missed, but I cannot be sentimental. I have to take my leave. I look forward to my new adventure.
A Farm for All! is in a good place. We have had our first annual fundraiser. We have gotten a grant to offer Solidarity Shares for White Pine’s Herbal CSA. We will be able to offer free and half priced CSA shares to three low income communities. We look for new community members. Look for our post on Craigslist in Hudson Valley and North Connecticut.
I have five beds to open and plant at Hiddenbrooke - Sage, Lavender, Wormwood and two Comfrey. Hay will be welcome weed control from now on. Hiddenbrooke seems to be a different eco-system. Phlox and Sunrrot have not done very well here. Anise Hyssop comes in much later than other places. We’ll see what Sunroot does next year. Critters eat plants like Echinacea, Valerian and Comfrey like never before. She may be more wild, a half mile in from the main road, DePuyster. More critters have a comfortable home I suppose. I mowed the entire season creating a series of pathways throughout the garden - so fun! I have had black plastic laid out since July to kill the grass for beds. I learn a new space.
I’m harvesting Zucchini and Tomatoes, still making Zucchini bread for potlucks and sauce for Christmas supper. I have also harvested Corn (Zea maize, Graminae, Annual, Turtle Island) and Green Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, Papilionaceae, Annual, Turtle Island). Corn contains carbohydrates, fiber, protein and vitamin B. Green Beans contain potassium, folic acid, beta carotene and protein.
It is root and seed harvesting time. I will be collecting Amaranth and Lamb’s Quarter seed to add protein to oatmeal and rice. Plantain seeds can be used the same way for omega 3’s. Seeds are often ground into nutrient rich flour. I have my stores of tincture of Burdock, Elecampane and Poke. I will have to check on my market stores.
Thankful for the peace and solace of Autumn Equinox. An opportunity to pause and savor before the dip down into the deep dark and hibernation. I take a tip from Bear and rest, rest. We are entitled to all the blessings life has to offer by the very fact that we were born. Joy, love and peace to you and yours this Autumn Equinox.