… For the first time since April. Gosh, it felt good to do it. We are expecting rain. Hopefully it will do a lot of good for the fires that are still burning (without causing landslides in the burn scars), it will prevent further fires, and it will clear out this horrible smoky air we’ve been living under for two weeks.
An aside: I was extremely glad not to have small children during this smoky period. We all had to stay indoors - and everyone was out of school - and honestly I was a little crazy, so it’s good that my kids are in the self-sufficient age.
Today the air was merely ‘unhealthy’ rather than ‘very unhealthy,’ so I decided to prepare for the rain and spent the entire day outdoors. I may have overdone it, especially considering I have a cold. However I got so much done. First I turned off the irrigation system and said a little ‘hooray’ to myself. Then I made sure the rain barrels were clean and ready to be filled. I took all the floating row cover down too. It’ll be around 50 at night, so the plants will be fine, and everything will benefit from a nice soak. Above you can see the north garden, which has greens, shallots, garlic, and two beds of chard that I just replanted.
Above is the south garden, which has all kinds of kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, potatoes, peas, fava beans, carrots, leeks, and parsnips.
Then I spent the rest of my day clearing out the pollinator gardens. All the summer flowers had turned black with frost, so it was time to put them in the compost. This took a LONG time. Having a full and glorious flower garden means a lot of plants, and I got slower and slower removing them as the day went on. At least the compost pile is overflowing with biomass. And it was fun to uncover bulbs coming up (the narcissus are already blooming, it gets earlier and earlier each year), and surprises I didn’t know about, like a huge tomato vine that had sprouted underneath all the zinnias. It even had five large fruits on it.
After the beds were cleared and raked, I took all the spring seeds out of cold storage and sowed them with some compost; lupines, poppies, echinacea, flax, delphiniums, and phacelia. This rain will water them in and start the process for them to grow and bloom in spring. I need way more seeds though. I don’t have any clarkias, or tidy tips, and that just won’t do!
I’m sure you’re all looking forward to and planning for Thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with all kinds of family, good food, and good friends. On Friday, we are spending the day in Pt Reyes visiting a large cow farm and exploring their milk and cheese operation. We’ll be sure to take our boots as we’ll likely be touring in the rain (another cheer!). I’ll write on Saturday about what we experience and learn there. My first born turned 17 this week and he adores cheese, so this is his birthday celebration. :)