Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The wonder of compost

Who knew I would one day get all warm and fuzzy over grass clippings, chopped leaves and old cow manure? I filled up a compost bin this weekend and it just feels GOOD! A feeling kin to that of watching seedlings sprout and flowers bloom...something good is happening right before our eyes, though we can't see the changes at the moment. I can hardly wait to spread the beautiful, black, crumbly stuff, worth its weight in gold come next spring. This bin is a box made of five wooden pallets and situated right at the back edge of my vegetable garden. Another is a constant work in progress, where the eggshells and kitchen waste are tossed. It is simply close-woven wire rounded into an egg shape, located out of sight, behind our old cellar. I don't go to any great pains with it - simply toss stuff in regardless if it is crumbled egg shells or a whole pumpkin! I stir it from time to time and will use some of the best composted stuff on the bottom come spring.

I'm trying to hold off thinking much about next year's garden until after Christmas. Other than the things I need to get done now, like mulching to protect the perennials and fillin in the beds with more mulch so they will be ready with only a little prep next spring. The best part - poring over seed catalogs and planning what will return to my garden and what new varieties I want to try - that must be saved for those frosty, boring days in January. Like saving dessert for last...

The very last of our home-grown, raw tomatoes found their way into our salad yesterday. Yes, really - AFTER Thanksgiving! In spite of the fact that my 30+ plants didn't produce the bumper crop I had anticipated, there were a whole lot of the little green fruits when the first frost hit, which fortunately was pretty late for us this year. So I gathered up anything bigger than a marble and brought them in. Granted, they certainly weren't as good as those summer beauties that ripened right on the vine, but still better than anything I could have bought at the supermarket. We have enjoyed them sliced, in salads, and in stir-fry dishes for the last 4 weeks. Only 8 months to go 'til I get to enjoy my own, homegrown beauties again

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