One might think that the end of Summer would be a slow period for a gardener. Most of our crops are harvested and we have prepared them for storage. But around here, late Summer and early Fall are very busy. It is true, that most of my garden is now out. I have a few okra, cucumber and jalapeno plants that are still producing thanks to the cooler than normal August we have had. I have pulled out all my tomatoes, zucchini, etc. and now I begin some of the prep work for my next years garden. My youngest daughter and I shoveled out over 50 - 5 gallon buckets of manure and shavings from our chicken run. Since chicken manure is very high in nitrogen it needs at least the Winter to compost down and become fertilizer for our next year crop. So all this is added to the garden along with a bunch of wood ash from trees that had fallen on our property due to storms this year. The ash is also good for our soil. I then till all this in to the previous soil. I continue tilling the soil over the Fall and into Winter about once every month so that everything is composted down well by Spring. I can't always till very far into Winter because of the frozen ground but that is ok.
Yesterday I worked on sorting out what herbs I would leave outside to Winter and which ones I would bring indoors to keep fresh herbs growing around here year around. Some of these herbs are also annuals in our area so they wouldn't survive if I left them out anyways. I am always at odds on whether to leave out my rosemary, oregano or my sage. Some say that with proper mulching they do just fine in Missouri Winters, while others say they do not. The past few years we have had milder than average temperatures here and I fear we are due for a harsh Winter this year. Therefore, I was tempted to bring all my plants inside, just in case. However, that is not realistic so I decided to bring one of each inside and leave at least one of each out to experiment with how they do. The exception to this was my basil and stevia. They both came in since they don't have a chance of survival.
i do realize we still have some growing season left for herbs outdoors. However, with other chores soon pressing, I don't want to miss the chance or be rushed in trying to get my herbs inside. Here very soon I will be battling leaves so much so that it will be hard to see where my plants are even at in the yard. At that time there are fountains and ponds to drain and cover, chicken coops to insulate, chicken runs to tarp over, wood to stack, chimneys to clean, garlic to plant, last minute pruning, and on, and on, and on. I am hoping for one more good harvest of herbs off my outdoor plants for the year which will be plenty to get me and Cynnamon Charmed through til next year.
I love the Fall. The trees are so beautiful and the weather perfect. However, it is difficult to let go of that fertile ground and sun warming feel that carries us through Spring and Summer. You see, hear, and feel the life in everything around you. We know that Mother Earth is completing another cycle of life and will soon be entering into her crone stage. I find this stage beautiful and important as well. We need the rest and the focus on our inner beings to be able to be born anew next Spring....but it's hard to let go when you love nothing more than walking barefoot on warm grass. So, I settle and try to preserve some of that life by bring it inside just as I do with myself. I nurture it through Winter just enough to get it through those long months in order to return it home to the soil next year where it is meant to thrive. Love and Light y'all )O(