The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Hunting season and frost

Frosty leavesThree weeks ago, I thought for sure the frost was going to come early.  I scurried, I picked, I covered, I mulched.  But the temperature only dropped to 33 that night, and then warm days set in until I forgot all about the frost. 

Then, last night, the frost snuck up on me and took me by surprise.  I woke up to a sparkling white "lawn", the okra plants drooping, the last few tomatoes nipped back.  Now I scurried again --- this time to hurry up and get the rest of my garlic in the ground.  I'd been waiting on a new garden spot to dry out from a recent rain, but decided to save that spot for something else and instead planted in existing raised beds (with much drier soil) which were suddenly empty since the watermelons, green beans, and okra that used to live there bit the dust last night. 

While I planted, I was surprised to hear a steady rustling in the driveway which materialized into two men in camouflage.  I ran inside to get Mark (and don a bra) --- it's an unusual occurrence that we see uninvited visitors since the half mile walk to our house deters most.  These two guys were neighbors who we let hunt deer on our property last year, coming out to see if they could hunt again.  Since the deer are vastly overpopulated in our region (and eat my garden like crazy), we were glad to see them and quickly assented.

Frosty leavesOne of the men mentioned that he'd lost his second job, and was also battling cancer, and has two kids to feed.  I asked if I could send him home with some produce.  Sweet potatoes?  No, his kids wouldn't eat them.  Greens?  He had plenty in his own garden.  Green peppers?  There I hit the jackpot, since I have dozens of green peppers which must be eaten ASAP and don't really like them.  So I picked him a couple dozen, wishing I could do more.  It seems like he should be able to get a special hunting license which allows him to hunt out of season due to his need and the deer overpopulation....

The visitors told us that another neighbor whose property begins where our property ends recently killed a bear and a "black panther" on his land.  I'm glad to hear that they're really here --- I know that a real farmer would consider them a threat, but I'd rather share my property with any large predators who can survive here.  On the other hand, I'm a bit devastated that they got shot, especially the bear since I wonder if it was the mother of the cub Lucy (our dog) treed this summer.

Hunting season and frost --- I guess summer is really over.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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