The Leaves of Fall

The weekend before Thanksgiving we headed up to K’s parents house to finish off their fence. The biggest thing we noticed on our 2 hour drive was that all the leaves were starting to change in the hills. It was a cool, crisp morning, with fog and low-lying wispy clouds hugging the mountains. It was a drive that was cozy and warm in the truck. Even though fall technically begins in September, it hadn’t felt like fall until that moment.

This last weekend we started to do our fall cleanup of the yard. Over the last couple of months, we had accumulated 4 large piles of weeds and plant debris. We decided that it was time to get those over to the compost site to be turned into top soil for next year. We after some synching with some ratchet straps, we were able to take the full load in one go. We weren’t sure if it would all fit at first. We even managed to add all the flowers from our backyard pots and planters.

Part of the reason we wanted to remove those piles was that we still need to take out all our plants from the garden beds, which definitely wouldn’t have fit in one load with the piles. The other is that we have one last project to get done and one of the piles was making our path really narrow at the top.

Next weekend we plan on taking out all of our gardens. We still have half a bed of carrots, one potato tower, all of our tomatoes, a few sunflowers, a cucumber plant and our strawberries.

The strawberries will stay in and whatever comes back again next year will be transplanted to the new strawberry beds. The plants are still producing and the berries continue to ripen, so we will continue to harvest. I made about 20 jars of strawberry jam last week, and also made some strawberry jelly from the juice that was made from thawing the berries.

We harvested one sunflower so far and are hoping the other two are ready to be harvested by this weekend. They were late to be planted, so it’s good we at least got one.

The carrots will be made into soup, processed for freezing, given to the dogs on their food and given to friends and family.

The potatoes will be stored and likely used within the next month or so. They never last the full winter, we get too gung-ho in using them in our favourite potato dishes, or making snacks like our kettle chips.

The remaining tomatoes will be brought in to see if they ripen and then canned for winter soup and spaghetti sauce. So far the partially ripe tomatoes we have been harvesting for the last week or so have been finishing up in the house, so there is hope that the ones on the plants are far enough along that they will also finish ripening in the house.

Along with the final yard cleanup, we have one more wall to build. Well, more like 4 mini-walls to build as end caps to the large beds that were created from our other walls. These ones will be stack-stone walls so they will be a little easier and faster to build. We recently ordered a pallet of them, which sat in our front yard for a week and a half. Along with a run to the composting site, we also moved all 140 bricks down into the backyard for building the walls. K and I will be working on that this weekend…even though the forecast is for rain and possibly a chance of snow. Fingers crossed that we do not get cold enough for snow. Either way, the walls will be built before we finish up in the yard for the year.

This year has been a difficult one in many ways so far, but it has worked out really well for us I’m getting quite a few major projects in our yard completed. I imagine it is the same for many people as we all have had so much time at home. We have a few big winter projects for in the house as well this year, so it looks like I will be keeping busy right until growing season 2021. I’ll make sure to share all the fun stuff we are doing around our house this winter as well.

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