Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

It’s over … mostly #gardening #minnesota #fall #autumn

21 Comments

poorgarden

Remember the snow from last week’s post? And I had to scrape frost from my windshield a day or two later. No, I didn’t cover anything this time.

How do you spell relief when you are a gardener in MN?

FROST.

Yep. Killed pretty much everything not related to cabbage. This picture is from the vantage of the potato bed. Not a great shot, because I dug potatoes weeks ago. It does look pretty desolate though.

The peppers and the zucchini are now wilty versions of their former selves, along with all the remaining bounty. It was a great year for peppers; I finally stopped picking them because, well, how many stuffed peppers can two people eat?

My seasonal favorites weathered the cold just fine.

I’m finishing off the last of the beets, and brussels sprouts are next on the menu, I think. Or kale. Or both. The sprouts did really well this year. I have had some already, but after a frost they tend to sweeten up a bit. Kale, too.

The biggest task now is to clean out the garden and till it. I like to take all the raked-up leaves (when I feel like raking them, because with a grove, it’s like cleaning up kids’ toys just before they roll through again; looks like you didn’t do anything 🙂 ) and dump them into the garden before we till it in.

We’ll leave the sprouts and kale alone. They’ll be fine for a while yet. Oh, and another bonus we get almost every year:

raspberries2raspberries

I suspect it’s the variety, but we usually get some berries in mid-summer, then another crop in fall, depending of course on how cold it is. The raspberry flowers are some of the few flowers still around for the bees. When I was picking peppers a couple weeks back, I checked out the raspberries. So many bees! I don’t think I’ve seen that many bees in one place all summer. They weren’t the European honeybees, though. They were wild bees, which are furrier then the European ones, but not as big as bumblebees. So. Cool.

The chickens are all laying eggs now, or at least most of them are. And the flock likes to follow us around; a couple of the black ones are really keen on being shadows.

chickens

Five of the seven: 3 black, one brown, one speckled

We keep discussing letting them out of the pen for a few hours (putting the dogs in the house, of course), but hubs said he heard a coyote during the day earlier this week. So, probably not letting the chickens out to roam. Not now, anyway. I feel bad because there isn’t any vegetation in the pen (hubs and son “re-landscaped” the area when they redid the pen this spring). I throw tall weeds in the pen for them; its’s a great use for those weeds that are too close to the garden fence to mow.

And more homework! I’m revising my next chunk of my WIP to send off to my writing teacher. I want to get the draft done before NaNo starts. A dream, unless I whisk off to an isolated cabin with heat, internet, wine, and chocolate for a week or two. Still, I’m going to try. Even without the chocolate 🙂

So, as Dory says:

dory

Have a great weekend!

zoey_cr

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, seven chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

21 thoughts on “It’s over … mostly #gardening #minnesota #fall #autumn

  1. Love your photos. Looks like you had a really nice garden. My parents had chickens when I was growing up. Hubs and I haven’t tried it. Our jobs keep us too busy to properly care for them. My brother does have a small garden on our property. Getting some fall peppers and such. NaNo is coming soon! Looking forward t it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for sharing those great ‘photos, Julie. It is nice, in a way, when that first hard frost comes, and you can start to put the garden down for a nap until the weather warms up again. It sort of helps you move, I think, from one season to the next. And to focus more on that writing homework. I wish you well with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Moving on is good, and a big sigh of relief that another season is done. I love autumn, but this year Mother Nature seems to be a bit neurotic, with tropical summer, winter, autumn, winter again, now back to autumn. Best part, though, is the beautiful trees. I often wish I could just sit and watch the trees change, and embed the colors in my mind. It’s like the Grand Canyon: pictures don’t quite capture the wonder of all those wonderful colors.

      Have a great weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You’ve put raspberries in my mind. I’m going to see if any of my local markets have any now. See ya!

    Neil

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting post. My sister lives in Indiana, rural, and does much of what you do though it’s just not as cold. Plenty cold for me though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “A dream, unless I whisk off to an isolated cabin with heat, internet, wine, and chocolate for a week or two.” Ugh! Please take me with you on that dream! And the cat. Always bring the cat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! The cat would enjoy it, or at least curling up by the fire. Come to think of it, the cabin should definitely have a fireplace. And lots of firewood ready to go. 😀

      Have a great week, Betsy! (and say ‘hi’ to Panther and friends for me 😀 )

      Like

  6. My garden is down to kale, kale, and a little more kale! Ha ha. The cold weather is coming to stay, Julie. Happy Writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the photos. Your garden is so cool and I have developed an instant soft spot for the speckled hen.
    Does Zoey hang around them?
    DH and I were talking today about how hard it is to find good Brussel sprouts. Maybe we should consider gardening again, LOL.

    Looking forward to NaNo, Fingers crossed we both rock it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I think we will both take our writing to frantic levels (that’s my plan, and I’m sticking to it. Really 😀 ) I have found decent sprouts at Aldi for a reasonable price. They have frozen ones too that work in a pinch in the winter. There is something about fresh, though. We had a light frost last week, so that should sweeten the sprouts up a tad bit. I picked some today, and plan to roast them tomorrow. Love them roasted! Especially with sweet potatoes.

      Have a great week, Mae!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad you still a couple things going on in your garden, Julie:) I still have my kale, too. When we had chickens we used to let them roam at first, but all the forest critters figured that out quick. I miss having chickens. Maybe someday, if we get a stronger coop built. Hope you have a productive week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There was a point a few years ago when we could let the chickens roam, and the dogs (miracle of miracles) wouldn’t bother them. Something happened one day, and one of the dogs decided it was open season on the chickens. We haven’t let them roams since.

      Have a great week, Denise!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So much for my last comment about the snow! Wow! Your garden veg looks so delicious and can’t believe you’re discovering raspberries. Your write so affectionately of the bees – I imagine you’ll be on first-name basis with them. As for coyotes – I always think of wild west films when I hear of these animals. Please keep your hens safe and penned in! Enjoy the autumn days and have fun with the leaves! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been bummed–haven’t seen a lot of bees this summer, not like in years past. I know the European bees are struggling; haven’t seen many of them at all this summer, but I’m so glad to see the wild bees. It’s tough because we are surrounded by farm fields that grow corn, which is wind-pollinated (and the chemicals they use are no good for any bees, I’m sure). We don’t mow most of our land, so there are some wildflowers, at least. And coyotes! For years we never heard them. Now this year we seem to be hearing them much more often. Hopefully once the fields are harvested and don’t offer them any cover they’ll move on. Then again, we have a ton of rabbits, and only one able-bodied dog, so maybe the coyotes will stick around and take advantage of the situation.

      Have a great week, Annika!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The end is in sight… Even your cat looks happy about it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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