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

Gambling on a warm fall

2010 extended forecast map"Did you know that we're forecast to have a warmer than average fall this year?" I called to Mark as he set out to work on the shed's roof.  Mark came in and looked over my shoulder at this prediction by Weather Services International that forecasts abnormally warm temperatures through November everywhere in the U.S. except on the Pacific coast.

"What would you do differently if you knew the growing season was going to extend for an extra month?" Mark probed.  Well, that was easy --- I would start a lot more of the
fall crops that didn't come up in the dog days' heat, tricking them into germinating indoors in flats then transplanting them to the garden.

Seed starting flatOur traditional first frost date is October 10 --- 46 days away --- and I need about 55 to 70 growing days to make it worthwhile to replant all of the roots and cabbages that failed me in the garden.  Even that is an optimistic estimate, since you should usually add two weeks to the "days to harvest" on your seed packet when planning fall crops to take into account shorter days as the year fades.  I figured there was no way fall crops would have time to mature if I planted them this late, so I assumed we'd just make do without them.

But what if the killing frost really did hold off for an extra few weeks?  Isn't it worth wasting a dollar's worth of seed on a gamble if you could instead win a bushel of carrots, beets, cabbage, broccoli, and turnips?  I wonder what it says about me that I would never buy a lottery ticket but have no problem gambling on the garden?

Our homemade chicken waterer is perfect for the backyard chicken keeper.

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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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Gambling on a warm fall

I first thought from this headline that you were talking about playing poker this autumn. :^)

I wonder what it says about me that I would never buy a lottery ticket but have no problem gambling on the garden?

Well, with a lottery ticket, you know for sure the odds are not in your favor. You can at least claim in the case of the garden that it's a good gamble. If the lottery offered you a chance to pay $1 to roll a die, and get $10 back if you rolled a six, you might be willing to play that game a few times too...

Comment by irilyth [] Thu Aug 26 09:43:26 2010
Now that's the kind of gambling I could sink my teeth into!! :-)
Comment by anna Thu Aug 26 13:43:43 2010

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