We’re almost there! In just a couple of days, we’re jetting off to Mexico for a few days of rest, relaxation and sunshine by the sea. This trip has been the carrot at the end of the stick, our reward, since we booked the trip around a month ago. Just a few more things to finish up before we go, and soon we’ll be drinking margaritas by the sea, mamasita!
This is a time of year that is marked by opposites. The end of some things is intertwined with the beginnings of others. As we prepare for the coming winter, we’re taking steps in anticipation of spring – and it’s a healthy reminder of the cyclical nature not only of this line of work, but in life in general. As Seneca the Younger (4BCE-65ACE) said, “Every new beginning comes from some other new beginning’s end.”
Out in the gardens, the landscape fabric upon which was planted the winter and the summer squash crops has been rolled up, and is ready to be moved by the bobcat into storage. Meanwhile, just a few paces away, we’ve had a crew busy at work on the new pea beds. Last year, we planted out there, hoping to use the fence that was put up to protect the Saskatoon and raspberry bushes as a trellis for the pea plants to climb as they grew. It was a great idea, in theory, but too much of our little moisture was wicked away by the cardboard boxes we had out there, filled with compost and soil. We’re now building beds out of two-by-fours out there, which we hope will greatly improve the crop next year, and we’re looking forward to adding both Sugar Snap and shelling peas to our market table next summer.
I posted a while back about the addition of a second cold frame, alongside the original. Earlier this week, we were able to install the poly over the structure, and we’ll be doubling our protected and heated growing space next spring. I’ve added some pictures at the bottom of this post that shows some of the relatively simple process. At the same time that the new structure is going up, we’re shutting down the cold frame that’s served us and our customers so well over the past eight months. Just a couple more nights of having to feed the fire, and soon we won’t be crawling into bed smelling like campfire anymore(at least not every night).
When we shut down the cold frame, we’ll be pulling all of the plants that remain in there. The basil has seen better days, but once it’s chopped up and frozen into ice cube trays, it’ll provide some delicious, fresh flavours for us in the months to come. There are quite a few tomatoes left on the plants, though the majority of them are still green. While we prefer to let them ripen on the vine, as that’s how they taste best, at this point, there’s not a lot of light coming in, so they’re really not turning red very quickly anyways. They’ll continue to ripen even after they’ve been picked, so that’s what we’re going to do. Gerald’s peppers, once picked, will also continue to ripen once they’re picked, so they’ll be coming out as well.
So that’ll be the last of the 2014 outdoor crops, while at the same time, we’ve started our first crop of next season, summer of 2015. We were out last week, planting our next garlic patch. The garlic will be in the same area where we had the summer squash and Brussels Sprouts, since the fabric has helped to keep the weeds out, at least somewhat. The cool thing with garlic, is that each year, you’re able to increase the amount you plant, without having to purchase any more seed. We’ve also planted some indoors again, in order to provide those yummy shoots again this winter. I’ll be writing more about our garlic in the coming weeks, I’m sure – I have quite a lot to say…
This livelihood we’ve chosen is, at it’s core, seasonal, and I’m thankful for that. We are heading to Mexico to celebrate the end of the season, to mark a transition, an end as well as a beginning.
The Cold Frame Going Up