October 16, 2017
It's time to get your winter squash into storage if you've had a few frosts like we have. Acorn, spaghetti, and butternut squash will start to mold if they sit on the damp ground for too long. Cut them from the vines leaving an inch of stem, wipe them down with a 1% bleach solution, and put them in a cool place that doesn't freeze. Our pioneer forefathers put them in the barn loft covered in hay. There were enough animals and manure in there to keep them from freezing.
They also stored fhe field dried corn on the cob in gunnysacks up there, along with dried peas and beans. I've heard of shucky beans that are dried by running a needle and thread through the pods and hanging them from the rafters. I imagine you could use the whole bean this way instead of discarding the shell.
October 17, 2017
It's time to batten down the hatches, Ol' Man Winter will be rattling the window panes soon. Take the hoses off the faucets and store them away. I wrap the faucets with rags and put a bucket over them because I have eleven of them and it's the quickest, easiest and cheapest way to deal with them. Make sure your pump house light is not burned out and clean out your water diversion ditches. Leave your ball valves open or at least with no water in them, and winterize your outdoor pumps. This is also the time of year when I can't sit in the garden shade without wearing a hat.
The birds are eating the overhead grapes and dropping the skins and seeds on my head. It's such a frenzy that the cats have left. They are hanging out in the bushes by the house and in the barn. They like their peacefulness too.
October 18, 2017
I noticed that the willow buds that formed awhile back have not changed, and are probably going to overwinter. These are the buds, that when I see them in the spring, make me think winter is coming to a close. Hah, they've been there all along, I just didn't notice. I also noticed my asparagus ferns are turning yellow. No, I didn't forget to water them, that's what they do this time of year. When the roots have been replenished the ferns die.
We then cut them off a little above ground level and cover the bed with a couple inches of straw mulch. That's about it for these easy keepers until they start poking up spears in early spring. I'm going to hate cutting them back this year because under them is the cats favorite shady spot. When you get old cats make great companions.