November 24, 2010

Apparently one of our biggest harvests was tree leaves, and we are just getting rid of them.    We prefer to not dispose of them weekly, but wait until nearly all leaves drop, (except those, like the mighty oaks, that like to hang on to their leaves until well into next year) then make one giant big effort, and rid our lawn areas of leaves.  We, fortunately, live in Whitley County which allows burning tree pruning and leaves unless a public notice is in effect banning outside fires, because with any wind at all, the dryness of any ground cover could spread any flame quickly, causing vast damages – as happens frequently.

We try to move our Christmas decorations into the house porch from their barn storage area before Thanksgiving, and hope to get our outside Christmas lights up and tested before it turns colder.  We have lots of wood ready for our wood burning stove, and plan to have a happy, indoor holiday season.

We have in the past, finely ground up our leaves with mower mulching blades, and this makes an excellent fertilizer substitute for lawns.  We spent three years establishing an asparagus bed 15 years ago, and asparagus does very well in the soils of this area, without any fertilizer added.  It grows from crowns, located about 12 to 16 inches under the surface, and it doesn’t care what lays on the ground above it, it will send its lovely spears through anything organic like straw, leaves, or paper. 

Unfortunately, it is a grass, and grasses make up only several of the hundreds of varieties of weeds that also do well in these soils.  Chemical herbicides that kill any grassy weeds also kills any asparagus it touches, but while asparagus grows well through six inches of straw (that prevents sunlight from reaching germinating weeds), if done evenly and annually, our asparagus bed remains weed free (well, except around the edges, which are easy to control, especially with a good handyman like Kevin P. available).

It is also time to clean up any litter you have left in areas like – my shop! where, without noticing it, I seem to fix something that needs fixing or building or bending – or painting, and instead of replacing any tools, leftover materials, paint, or empty containers, I have allowed these items to build up for much too long a time.  When I started trying to clean it up, I found tools that I had bought years ago for something, hung on a nail or laid in a cabinet, and now I don’t know why I bought them, sometimes don’t know what that tool should do, or why I bought it!

I really like fixing stuff in my shop, it is time to start getting the gardening tools sharpened, tuned up, lubricated, and in shape for the wonderful gardening season next year, and I think “Over The River, And Through the Woods – To Grandmother’s House We Go” was a beautiful family song and experience, and we wish you a happy family Thanksgiving, with lots of friends enjoying a happy Thanksgiving feast!

In these downward economic times, it wouldn’t hurt us all, and individually, to just stop and think about everything we should give thanks for, and if someone or someone’s actions enter your thoughts, we think you should make a note of thanking them directly in person, when next you see, or communicate with them.

After our last political campaign, when I thought I saw too many negative ads, none of which made very little difference to my voting preferences, I re-affirmed my belief that compliments benefit both the giver and the receiver, and criticisms have about an equally opposite effect.  .  .  .  good gardening

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