Results of the Fair, fall garden update

This is weeks late, I know, but I’ve been busy with other stuff taking over my life.

Not bad; a second place for my sweater, which is really pretty good for my first knitting WAG type project.  I have always taken patterns and altered them but never made one up based on a suggestion.  One of my skeins of yarn got first and another got second; ditto for my scarves.  The hand spun hand knit one got first, my first weaving project got second.

All in all, it gives me hope that I might be able to sell stuff here and there — at least, my work is quality is what I mean.  Whether I can actually sell stuff remains to be seen.  It would be nice to at least make it self sustaining; my goal is though to be able to reduce my hours working at my ‘real’ job so I could work more from home.  At first glance, it doesn’t seem very doable, BUT… when you factor in gas to and from work, buying drinks (even though I mostly drink the free coffee and water), and lunch purchases (because I’m not home enough to make all my lunches all the time) as well as wear and tear on uniforms and shoes, and laundry expenses it might end up breaking even.  For at least one or two days a month less.  And who knows, if the economy takes another nosedive as I suspect it might, working less might make me more attractive to my bosses and less likely to be forcibly cut.  I do know that part time people have access to all the hours they care to have.

And then again, if the economy takes another nosedive, nobody will have money to spend on quality anyway….

The garden has done very poorly so far this year.  I’ve put up about 20 lbs of tomatoes from the garden the whole of this year and have maybe another five that will be ripe before the first frost comes due at the end of the month.  No peppers, a few eggplants, one bunch of grapes from my own vines, and the raspberries are dying.

The one thing that has done very well are the lima beans.  From a 2 x 3 plot I got about a cup of beans.  I think that is a pretty good return from a little package!  Those are definitely keepers.  They’ll get planted again next year.

The swiss chard is finally doing well after suffering in the heat all summer long, and the collard greens are still thriving.  We don’t care for them much (the only recipe I’ve found for them involves cooking them for hours in a pork broth and serving with cornbread) but the chickens absolutely love them so I’ll grow them again just for them.

After two months with no eggs at least two are producing again.  It will be time for new chicks in the spring, I think.  Much as these hens have been pampered, if they’re past their prime and not giving us what we got them for, it’s time for them to go to the chicken retirement home in favor of some younger girls who will produce reliably for us.  After all, we’re supplying our home entirely from our eggs, and two relatives regularly from our girls.  We need the production!

My plan is to rip all the plants out of the beds after the first frost and to manure and mulch heavily with straw, and let it sit over the winter with no winter gardening at all.  Hopefully increasing the fertility and tilth will help counter any future wacky weather issues like we’ve had this year.  I also want to get rid of my trash container composters and to build an actual cinder block compost unit.  I think part of the reason I don’t get hot enough temps in my compost to kill seeds is because I don’t have a critical mass of compost in one spot at any given time.  If my three barrels were combined into one bin, I think it might be enough to get good compost faster.

That’s all the updates for now.  Off to cut out DH’s Halloween costume and hopefully to go to a birthday party later today.

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