Our first real freeze came a few days ago. Up on our morainal hill, the temperature got down to the mid to low twenties, but on the outwash plain, out at the airport, the low temperature was sixteen degrees. It gets cold at night, out on the plains.
This morning, at five-fifteen AM, in a gentle rain, it was fifty-one degrees. Last year, on the same date, at five thirty in the morning, we woke to sixty-one degrees.
Yesterday I brought in the year’s forty-ninth pickup truck load of manure, forked and wheelbarrowed it into the Far South End of Wishetwurra Farm, and tilled it into the soil. It’s too late to plant a cover crop, so the far end will stay stripey for the winter. The green center stripe is a mix of oats and yellow mustard. The oats will winter-kill, but the mustard may not. The mustard is an experiment. If it survives the cold weather, it will have to get tilled under before it gets too tall next spring. This lazy gardener would prefer to have his cover crops winterkill. He’s lazy that way.
We still haven’t decided what to plant in the Far South End next year, but it might be our corn patch. We have been planting “Fioriana” red italian corn each year for the last few years, and have gotten fond of the beautifully colored and tasty meal the ground kernels produce. Fedco Seeds says that the variety comes from the Valsugana Valley in northern Italy, where it is reputed to be the favored polenta corn. A googlemaps view of that valley shows a beautiful patchwork of fields, on either side of a braided river.
Each year we select three or four of the best-looking, easiest-shelling cobs, for our next year’s planting.
This morning, the ladder went up for the last 2012 aerial view of Wishetwurra Farm.
Here is the north end.
Here is the middle.
And here is the Far South End.
Thanks for coming along on the last garden tour of the year.