I was looking forward to a serene September. What was I thinking? A new puppy smacks serenity upside the head.
The whirlwind of Capp’s puppiness descended on us full force–morning wake-up leg attacks, outside-inside-outside-inside-do-it-all-over-again, chew-chew-chew, bite fingers, nibble toes, tug-of-war with dress hems, cabbage kamikaze, eat-who-knows-what in the back yard, water slobbers down the hall.
A messy, sometimes frantic, onslaught of new life–questing, exuberant, beautiful, excited, adorable, and a sponge for learning.
Having a pup again has been tiring, but it’s such a sweet privilege to watch the development of this wonderful, intelligent new creature.
Capp is an amazing bundle of loving dogginess and wasted no time in working his way firmly into our hearts.
So, our September days were focused on pup training and preparing for fence installation for our back garden and orchard area.
We are fencing almost an acre and George has been clearing along the fence line and putting in portions of the fence, over drains and our septic system, by hand.
We will have help in digging most of the holes and hope to have it completed later this month.
We are slowly getting things ready for winter. The bee season is wrapping up with a hive loaded with honey that I hope will bring the bees through the winter.
We had a heavier Varroa mite infestation than I would have liked, but treatment seems to have brought the mite levels under control.
The bees have thrived despite my clumsy mistakes. I actually dumped a hive body on the ground during the last inspection–I thought we had properly separated the middle body from the lower, but the sticky bee propolis brought the lower body along as we lifted the middle one and then as we moved it–crash–the lower body dumped on the ground. It was pretty exciting for a while as the bees let us know they were not at all happy. But aside from two stings on George’s pants, they let us put things back together and we all went about our business. This hive has the gentlest bees that I’ve ever seen.
The fall has been warm so far, so I am just starting to ready the garden beds for winter.
Some flowers linger in the gorgeous fall light.
We still are picking cherry tomatoes and the cool weather crops, such as carrots, beets, kale, cabbage, and parsnips become sweeter as the temperatures cool. We had an odd summer for eggplants and peppers. They had such a slow start that I almost pulled them to replant with late summer crops.
Then, suddenly in late July, they took off. Finally, in September, we had a wonderful crop of eggplants and peppers, that I’ve roasted and frozen. And, now, in October, they are still producing.
We did not have any problems with deer this summer but, unfortunately, the raccoons got to our corn. We had about a week-and-a-half of daily fresh corn before they discovered the corn patch and then one morning–corn devastation. I managed to salvage some of the popcorn, but that was it.
We tried growing a few exotics (for us) this year, including okra and cardoon. I thoughtlessly planted the okra in the shadiest part of the garden, which was a mistake. Two small plants each proudly produced one pod apiece. They were sort of sweetly pitiful. I will try it again next year in a really sunny spot and I think it will do better. The cardoons started slowly–just like the peppers and eggplants. And then they suddenly grew like weeds. They are related to artichokes, with similar flowers, but ours never made it to the flowering stage.
Still, I was growing them for the stems, which have an artichoke-like flavor. The leaves are lovely and serrated, but have nasty little spines that need to be removed.
After the spine removal, I peeled them,
boiled them, baked them with parmesan, seasoning, and butter, and dotted with cherry tomatoes. They looked promising, but we weren’t very impressed with the flavor or the texture.
They were not bad, but not great. Considering how much room they take in the garden, I doubt that I will grow them again. Or maybe, with all those spines, I could plant them around the corn to keep the raccoons away.
September also brought wonderful skies, which promise to get even better in October. I’m looking forward to some serenity this winter. Ha.