gardening woes

Our first frost. It happened. It took my lovely morning glories, nasturtiums, marigolds, cosmos, zinnias and basil. I knew it would, but the hopeful part inside me thought, perhaps it won’t be a real frost after all, maybe they’re wrong…well, they weren’t. All of my beautiful flowers – gone. Basil plants – blackened. No way around it – it’s getting colder – my gardening days are coming to a end. I took this photo the day before we were expecting frost – the flowers are all now all pulled…

Even though some things are coming to an end, it’s time to get excited about next years garden – I’m already thinking about it; what to plant and where, when to begin seedlings indoors, and what needs to be done to the garden itself – fence repairs, soil amendments, pest prevention, etc. It’s all so exciting to me. Fresh veggies, pure, clean, real – all in my backyard. Yum. Here was the last of my green beans, tomatoes and coriander, picked the night before the big frost…


Now, I’m getting ahead of myself here. I am still enjoying fresh veggies growing out back and here they are, swiss chard,

lettuce (the pumpkins and green beans are no more),

carrots, small but growing – hopefully they make it,

baby spinach

and parsley.

All are doing just fine… for the moment that is. So until mother nature decides to bring in the winter temperatures, I will continue to enjoy the luxury of picking and eating my own homegrown, organic veggies.

Have you ever thought about growing your own? Try it – you just may be surprised by your own green thumb…and don’t let a lack of space/yard stand in your way, container planting is perfect for a lot of plants. And what is true of so many things is also true of learning to garden; you need to educate yourself, ask questions, experiment, and most importantly, try. And keep trying – every year is different, you just never know what may come of it…
In all my eighteen years of gardening, I’ve never had basil like I did this year – it was phenomenal. If I had given up years ago, I never would have known that I can grow basil, nor would I have experienced the pleasure of so much basil. In the past I’ve been unlucky with lettuce too – this year it was incredible. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.

This first frost has also made me realize, or rather, come to terms with, the fact that we will now be using our wood stove again. Not daily (we still may have a few warm days left) yet, but every night for sure and soon there will be a constant fire burning in the center of our home; day and night, night and day – the eternal flame…so while my garden isn’t requiring much of my time, the wood pile does…

The photo (above) was taken the night before the frost – usually I don’t bring wood in through the front door like this, but it was warm enough to, it’s a shorter distance than the usual route and the mosquitos are gone for the season. Aren’t those vining flowers lovely? Sadly, they are now part of the compost.

Enjoy the leaves while they last…

And keep warm…enjoy.

wood wood wood

We live in Maine. Winters are long, summers are short. Heat is a necessity for survival – seriously.  The saying goes, ‘Wood heats you three times; once when you cut it (we used to cut all our wood), once when you stack it (we still stack about EIGHT cords of wood each year!), and once when you burn it’ – so TRUE! It’s an incredible amount of work – a cord of wood measures, 4′ X 4′ X 8′ L – Stacking eight cords of wood is not easy task. It’s not a horrible task either, just time consuming. I’ve stacked wood while pregnant, with Finn on my back in a pack, and in good and bad weather – you do what you have to do…it’s a labor of love really – wood heats this house better than oil could any day, and I feel better about utilizing wood, I feel it’s the lesser of two evils… solar would be best – maybe our next house…but until then, wood it is. 

Under the best of circumstances we would have all our wood already stacked, dried, and ready for the season – well, we don’t. So much to do and so little time for the parents of a two old, growing an art based business – all on a tight budget…

We have a few cords ready (and a small amount stacked) and one more cord was delivered today.

Three more cords are on order and due to arrive shortly…wood, wood and more wood is what will be on our minds for the next few months.

Keeping it dry (covered with tarps in bad weather and uncovered in good weather), making (and finding) time to haul and stack it and then moving it inside to burn, unfortunately that will be sooner than later – we typically burn wood from mid October through mid June – we have a constant fire in our home for nearly eight months, equal to the amount of wood we burn – one cord a month…

So until we get that fire going, I will enjoy the windows open, the sounds coming through and revel in the fact that until then, there’s one less thing to do…may winter take its’ time…