Wishetwurra Farm, November 2014

Another month, another climb up the ladder.

Far below lies Wishetwurra Farm, increasingly shaded, as the sun flees south, falling lower each day.

We’ve not yet had frost. Average Martha’s Vineyard first frost is the third week of October. Our location on the side of a hill means that we frost later than the folks in the flatlands below us.

Wishetwurra Farm is a tired fall garden, in the process of being cleaned up and put to bed for the winter.


The near asparagus patch turns yellow and brown. Rows of green, the carrots for winter, await pulling, snapping, and storing. At far end of this section, oats grow lushly in their thick layer of manure.

Here’s a ground-level view of those oats.


Winter cold will kill these oats. The dead foliage will mulch the soil, and come next spring, can be pulled aside here and there for plantings of squash or tomatoes, who don’t mind growing in the “rough” manure layer.

By the greenhouse door, the just-cleaned “root cellar” waits to be filled with carrots.

The carrots will be pulled, tops snapped off, and bedded in sand.


Carrot varieties trials. Left hand row, “Danvers Half Long”. Middle row, “Imperator”. Right hand row, “Nantes” and “Scarlet Nantes”. Verdict: Nice carrots, but we still prefer “Bolero”, which has been our main storage carrot these last few years.

After the carrots come out, the soil in the beds will be lightly stirred, raked smooth, and the garlic will be planted, manured, and heavily mulched with seaweed.


Carrot beds harvested, garlic planted, and a layer of nicely rotted manure applied. Other than watering during dry spells, a light application of organic fertilizer after growth starts in the spring, and removal of the occasional weed, the garlic will need no attention until harvest time next July. 

View down the middle.


Here and there are glints of color. Marigolds. A red garden basket. The green jungle amidships is the fall cole crops bed. Near the fence is an attempted crop of peas.

Marigolds hold on until the very last…


And those peas?

We planted the peas a couple of weeks too late.

They’ve been blooming nicely.


And trying to form pods.


But the days are now too short, the weather too cool, for there to be much of a crop. We planted these in mid-August. We should have put them in around the first of that month. We didn’t remember to. Who can think of pease in the midst of full, hot summer?

Oh well. The pease have put nitrogen in the soil, and the tops will keep winter rains from washing dirt away. There is no loss without gain.

The celeriac is busy getting ready for the “Ugly Vegetable” contest.


OK, celeriac is ugly, but you can use the leaves as a celery-herb, and the makes super soup additions. They are good in a mix of roasted roots, and grated, add another taste to slaws.

In the middle of the summer we chanced on some daikon radish seed.


So far, we’ve just been watching the daikon. We put the seed in too late to get big roots, but we’ll have a few to experiment with. On the list of fall projects are some tries at sauerkraut. Some of the kraut is going to have added daikon.

The final overview, to the South…

Here we see more tired garden.

And a bright red trug.

A traditional trug is an English creation, a shallow basket of wooden slats, with a handle. The old-fashioned version can still be found, but modern variations are made. In Maine they make them with cedar ends and wire mesh bodies. We saw local landscapers using these bright plastic ones, and decided to get a couple, to see if they’ll stand up to the neglect and abuse we give to our tools. So far so good.


Back on earth, peeking through tired leaves, gleams another red, the red of a “Costoluto Genovese” tomato.


Thanks for visiting, and for coming on the tour.

4 responses to “Wishetwurra Farm, November 2014

  1. Celeriac may be ugly, but it sure is tasty. Your’s looks like a healthy bulb. I pulled my local 12 roots from their southern New Hampshire bed on Sunday: from their small stature they laugh a hearty, mocking roar at my meager harvest. True: they, too, wanted to be contenders, but wound up on the drier side of the deer tracks.

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