Thursday, November 10, 2011

More Cold Weather Gardening, Cozy Chicks, and A Monkey in the Tree

We have an apple tree. It isn't one of those dwarf, easy to pick things and I am not even sure what variety of apples they are,  It produces apples every year without any help from me. I don't prune it, water it, or fertilize it and as a matter of fact the grass grows up around the bottom of the trunk and all I do is mow around it. Last year I bought an apple picking basket. You know the kind with a long telescoping handle and a basket
at the end with a few hooks that grab the apple and then you give it a yank and the apple falls in to the basket. But the tree is still taller than the basket thing. Our oldest daughter is and has always been part monkey. I have seen her shimmy up a hundred foot fir tree without even thinking about it. Our apple tree is
only 20-25 ft tall so every year she gets the job of climbing the tree and tossing down the apples to the rest of us earthbound hominids. It always amazes me that she can do it. I think perhaps I should prune the tree this year since she is going to be 19 and probably wont want to do it much longer.

With the cold weather approaching the chickens are competing for the favorite nest box. Now try to remember this nest box is only 12 x 14 inches so this picture is kinda funny.
With the colder weather the garden is looking rather shabby. I am harvesting the last of the lettuce and peas and still patiently waiting for the brussel sprouts to get some size to them. I could have sworn that last year at this time I had good sized sprouts. The white cauliflower heads are small and wrapped up inside the protection of the leaves so we shall let them be for awhile. I harvested the cheddar cauliflower and it was delicious. I'm really glad my family likes cauliflower. My youngest informed me that just because the cauliflower looks like cheddar cheese doesn't mean that we shouldn't have cheese on it. hmmmm.
Cheddar variety of cauliflower

The cold frame is getting filled at a snails pace mostly because I have family duty that takes me away from my gardening chores right now but I managed to get a layer of leaves raked up and placed in the bottom. Now if I can just find the time to go get some horse manure to put on top I could then put the growing layer of soil on top of the whole thing and get it heating up. I did manage to find the black oil pans for about $10 that I mentioned in the last blog but I had to order them. I will be filling them with water and placing them inside and   along the back where the sun can warm them up during the day and release the heat back into the structure at night. If it works we will have fresh greens all winter. Ya ho! Did I mention that the man, my gadget freak, put a wireless thermometer in the cold frame so that I could monitor the temperature without going outside? It is very cool I have to admit. Lets hope I get it all together before next week. The weather here is starting to turn nasty with the weather man calling for gale force winds tomorrow.

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