Saturday, October 16, 2010

Playing "Beat the Freeze"

Potted plants are being ferried down to the greenhouse each time I drive down the hill. I'm loading the Mule from the porches around the house.

Overnight temperatures are flirting with a freeze in the high thirties and low forties.

Yesterday, I spent some time cleaning up the sunny end greenhouse and the potting room. Today, I'll continue in the middle and shady end.

We pulled massive wisteria vines down last week off the middle and shady end greenhouses. There was so much material that it still hasn't been disposed of.

The idea -- and it works well -- is that the plant will naturally shade the greehouses in summer and then, when the leaves fall in the winter, sunlight can again warm those sections. Except that it has been growing for ten years and the branches have become so massive that less and less sunlight has been able to penetrate the sections. Wisteria began to grow INTO the greenhouse through whatever small openings it could find. Talk about a scary Halloween tale!

I doubt we killed the wisteria. It'll be back -- like Jason, or any other zombie. I'll just make it my business to cut it down drastically every autumn. Hey, it beats placing shadecloth over the large greenhouses!

It's noticeably brighter in the sections which were covered in vines. I'm hoping that I can motivate myself to continue upgrading and cleaning. The propane tanks were filled last month and small electric heaters are at the ready. There'll be no heating until the bitterest weather, and that will be just to keep the potted plants alive until Spring.

I'm cutting down big weed/trees and throwing them into the goat pastures, where they are found with great glee and eaten with gusto. We had a day and a half of rain only this week, and there isn't all that much weedy material in the pastures. So, I'm killing two birds when I attend to the "neatening up" around the farm.

Buckets of small yellow tomatoes and any distressed larger tomatoes go to the chickens along with excess chard. This provides them with extra, tasty nutrition which they seem happy to have. We are still eating Cherokee Purple, which finish ripening in the house.

The last of the hay was cut and baled last week. It was trucked over to the barn and placed under the overhang just before the rainstorm. Today, a helper will assist in placing it on the hay elevator and stacking it in the loft.

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