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Monthly Archives: November 2013

In the fall in New England, I rake up the leaves that have fallen in my gardens and yard and move them out to the compost pile. Then I turn the pile, add horse manure, turn the pile, add kitchen scraps (no animal products except egg shells), turn the pile, turn the pile and turn the pile.  So that in a years time I can spread this compost over my gardens and lawn.  Maybe I should just leave them where they fall.

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My chickens enjoy the raking.  They don’t get out as much as they use to, so this weekend was a treat for them.  If I was out raking, they were out helping.  They slow it down some because you have to be careful not to hit them with the rake.  Maybe helping isn’t quite right.  But they are good company and talking to the chickens looks better than talking to yourself.  I love watching them scramble for the creepy-crawlies that  I uncover.

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Once the leaves are in piles they need to be moved to the compost area.  This has never been fun.  The wheelbarrow doesn’t hold enough leaves and raking them onto a tarp and then dragging this to the compost is way harder than you would think.  So some years back I made a cardboard tube that fits over my wheelbarrow giving it much taller sides.  I am amazed at how many leaves can be stuffed into this and easily wheeled away.

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wood strips to support the cardboard sides

wood strips to support the cardboard sides

Ed

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I’ve put the gardens (my 2 vegetable gardens) to bed for the year.  Since I won’t be planting a vegetable garden next year,( myhike2014.wordpress.com) I did things a little differently.  After pulling the last leeks and carrots from the old garden and pulling the last kale from the newer garden I added all of my remaining compost, some lime and then seeded them both with clover.  I have never planted a cover-crop before.  My Dad always planted winter wheat in the fall and tilled it in, in the spring as a green manure.  I’m hoping letting the gardens rest for a year will discourage the cabbage worms and a blight that my beets and Swiss chard get.  I’ve also dug up a couple of parsley plants, potted them and have them in the south facing living-room window for fresh parley all winter long.

last of the leeks and carrots from 2013

last of the leeks and carrots from 2013

 

pulled kale plants hung in the run for the chickens

pulled kale plants hung in the run for the chickens

 

old garden

old garden

 

newer garden

newer garden there is 1 turnip plant left

Ed

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