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

Descent into winter

Butterfy on echinacea

One month after the solstice, I can feel the long, slow descent into winter beginning.  We're racing the shortening days now.

Hoverfly Even though it seems strange to be thinking of winter in July, we're in the middle of planting the fall garden.  I'm also putting in cover crops (more on those in a later post) to add organic matter to beds that will remain fallow until garlic planting time or until the spring.  It's already too late to direct seed anything except bush beans, lettuce, greens, and garlic unless we plan to protect the crops from frost.

Meanwhile, I'm preserving the harvest as fast as I can.  I've got 8.75 gallons of vegetables and a gallon of fruit in the freezer, along with 0.8 gallons of dried vegetables and 1.3 gallons of dried fruit.  Although it feels like a lot of food, I hope to freeze at least 30 gallons of vegetables (exluding tomato sauces) this year, so we've got a long way to go.

Even though I start itching for the garden in January and February, I have to admit that I'm looking forward to the fall now.  I'm ready to tackle some of those long-term projects we can't even think about during the summer months (and I wouldn't mind sleeping past 6 AM either.)  Still, I can't find much to complain about when the first pizza of the year is on the horizon.

Our chicken waterer saves work in summer and winter.

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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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Is it time to plant garlic already?
Comment by Errol Sat Jul 23 08:32:45 2011
No, garlic's the last thing that goes into my garden, in middle to late September (later for you.) I was just listing it because it's one of the few things you can still save room for! In beds that are coming open that we want to plant garlic in, we're instead planting a quick buckwheat and cowpea cover crop to be cut down in six weeks.
Comment by anna Sat Jul 23 09:37:54 2011

One month after the solstice, I can feel the long, slow descent into winter beginning.


Maaaan! It's only July! It's.only.July.

It's distressing (as a Canadian) to comtemplate (the seven month long) winter when it's 35 degrees out and I'm only just starting to have a nice tan. My tomatoes are still all green!

Comment by J Sat Jul 23 17:31:44 2011
Don't take it too hard --- it's just like seeing the first signs of spring at the end of January. You know it's going to be a good long time yet, but the seasons are clearly changing!
Comment by anna Sat Jul 23 21:05:04 2011

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