Happy first day of fall. The weather has sure been showing sign of the new season. We had our first frost on the September 15th which sure seems a little early. The garden was mostly done anyway now it is just a matter of getting it ready for winter. Since this is the first year of my raised beds I'm going to try a new method. The goal of the raised beds is to not till the beds anymore and to disturb the soil as little as possible. So instead of pulling up all the spent tomatoes, beans and squash I am just going to cut them off at the ground and drop the plants in place on the raised bed. I will then cover everything with a good layer of compost. After dampening the earth well the beds will then get covered with a layer of clear plastic which will superheat the soil to kill any weed seeds that may be in the soil.
Besides getting the garden ready for winter we have to finish getting our wood in for the winter. The woodshed is nearly full but it is nice to have it overflowing. We ran a little short this last winter since it was a really cold one. Besides the hardwood for good heat making we also split a good amount of cedar for kindling.
The barn got its fall cleaning this last weekend adding a good amount of bulk to the compost piles that we regularly turn and rotate. Next month the pigs will go to butcher with the turkeys following just before Thanksgiving leaving only the laying hens to keep through the winter. Oh yes, we also have the bees to get through the winter. There is some preparation to get their hive buttoned up for winter. Since this is our first winter with the bees our goal is just to get them through winter alive. We have been feeding them so they can put away a lot of honey for winter food. Their hive will also get wrapped in tar paper to help keep the wind chill out. Moisture can also be an issue so a way to soak up the moisture so that it does not freeze in the hive is also important.
Our apple trees are not yet producing so it will be off to the apple orchard to get a couple bushels to make applesauce and to dry to use is many different recipes.
This is a busy but wonderful time of the year. With cooler weather comes soups, baking bread and hot spiced cider. Enjoy!!