Here Comes Winter!

In between critiquing a gazillion composition essays, I’ve been running around outside the house, clipping bunches of herbs from the home gardens to throw in the dehydrator.

I also pulled in the volunteer buttercup squash and am looking closely at whether or not to harvest a bagful of nasturtium leaves, beet greens, and other tasty edibles.  Yeah, I’d better.

It’s going to be in the twenties tonight, and we may have an inch of snow by morning.  While the Black Hills has gotten snow in the previous couple of weeks, we in the Southern Paradise of the Dakotas have mostly seen rain, some chilly nights, and a smattering of patchy frost.

Even last night’s low of thirty-one didn’t really do too much damage on my protected street, but tonight it’ll all be over even in the most protected outdoor areas.

This is it for us–while the leeks, root crops, and protected greens will probably be OK, we’re looking at a full weekend of highs in the forties and lows approaching twenty.  Hard freeze!  It’s time to give up on anything you were thinking a blanket or row cover would save–this is serious cold.

I’ve still got about six essays left to get to before I can head out and take a hard look at the farm.  I’ll probably just dig the rest of the celery root and what few carrots I managed to get planted this season.

The leeks and greens can stay out, but the remaining Brussels sprouts might also get pulled and stored in the basement.  I’m feeling pretty good about accomplishing most of what needs doing before the coming flakes–I’ve been keeping on top of the weather and pulling what needs pulling.

Yesterday at the farmers market I bought a big box of nice-looking apples, so I’m looking forward to a few more leisurely canning projects–green tomato apple chutney, applesauce, and other recipes to fill the house with warmth and spicy scents.

Next week it looks like I’ll have a helper to get the backyard cleaned up, the gardens put to bed, and the basement a little more under control–hopefully the snow will have melted and we’ll have a little sunshine for those final outdoor projects of the year.

That is, besides the shoveling.

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