Early October 2015 at Wishetwurra Farm

Rain came!

About six inches of rain, in a seven-day northeast storm that kept us clouded, damp, misted, mizzled, showered, and just plain deluged. Last night a line storm rumbled and flashed over us just after dark, leaving another half to three-quarters of an inch of water.

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The orange wheelbarrow collected water until it overflowed. At the “Living Local” Harvest Festival last weekend, my friend Jim Athearn from Morning Glory Farm told me they’d “so far” gotten 5 1/2″ from the storm.

Here’s a gallery of some of what’s happening at Wishetwurra Farm, these first weeks of fall.

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Winter cover crop…interplanted oats and oilseed radish, mostly. The idea is that they’ll winter-kill, and leave a nice mulch on the surface of the soil.

The tomato patch persists, but you can tell that for the tomatoes, “end time” is here.

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Tomato. Tired, but still trying.

Blight has killed our non-resistant tomato varieties.

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It’s squash and apple time.

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Squash and apple. Orange and green. Set up to draw.

This particular squash and this particular apple are on their way to paper “immortality”.

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Squash and apple, drawn out and ready to transfer to the illustration board.

What a year for apples. Road trees, yard trees, orchard trees, tended and untended, all have big crops of apples this year. There are bushels and bushels more apples than we can possibly harvest, process and use.

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The beginnings of what was probably year’s the last batch of applesauce.

We’re freezing bags of apples slices for winter pies, making and canning applesauce, and are running lots of apples through the dehydrator. Dried apples keep for months and months. They’re a tasty snack.

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Just-out-of-the-dehydrator apples. Plus a few experimental dried pears, in the purple bowl. Yes, they were good! A nice thing to do when you’re out on a walk is to nibble from that little bag of dried apples you put in your pocket before you left the house.

The corn has been in for weeks now, and is dry enough to grind for meal. What’s left of last night’s cornbread will be this morning’s breakfast.

The test crop of “Cherokee Black” popcorn got a test popping.

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It popped. It’s tasty. But we’re not sure about how those black skins look peeking out from the cumulus-white puffs of the kernels. Makes it look burned, even though it’s not.

The weather gets steadily cooler. We’re happy to have temperatures in the upper sixties now, and a day in the 70’s is a heat wave. Today might be warmer than 55°. Tonight’s forecast is for the low 40’s. Leaves are coloring.

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Color is moving into the leaves outside. In a certain secret bog, ripening cranberries peek out from under reddening poison ivy.

The leeks are mulched, most of the potatoes are in, and carrots are ready to harvest and store.

Cool weather means that soups and stews are moving onto the menu.

Two days ago we went out and dug the first parsnip of the season.

It was a nice addition to the chicken noodle soup.

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