Thursday, November 25, 2010

Settling in for Winter

I noticed the other day how the farm is looking all settled in for winter. It starts in September when we take the shade cloth off the greenhouses. After seeing it with its dark covering for months, it looks strange to see the clear plastic and to be able to see inside the greenhouse from outside. The skids which hold all the outside plants in the spring are also put away. The gardens are cleaned up (for the most part) and even the garden signs are put away. Perennial stock plants are buried in rows in the vegetable garden to protect their roots over the winter.

Most of the leaves are off the trees, too. I didn't think the fall leaf show was spectacular this year~perhaps due to the dry summer. But I did admire the scarlet maple with its brilliant foliage- it's hard to beat maples for fall color. When we moved here, there was one tree in the yard-a large white pine. I wanted trees in the back corner so I joined the Arbor Day Foundation. The welcome gift was 10 tree saplings. They arrived in the mail in a plastic bag. John really laughed about these so-called "trees." We heeled them into the garden for a year or two to take hold and then planted them. Not all survived, but about 8 did. The scarlet maple is now about 20-25' tall, beautifully shaped and brilliant in the fall. All in about ten years time-so "ha" back on John for laughing at my trees.

Open house is approaching-Dec. 3 & 4 from 9am to 5pm. We have about half a dozen varieties of potted culinary herbs in the greenhouse, along with live topiaries. And the shop is brimming with all kinds of fragrant gift ideas and natural holiday decorations. We‘ll have specials in the shop, herbal refreshments and prize drawings.

My Italian parsley is just beautiful! All the fall rain produced a bumper crop of lush, dark green foliage. I'm adding parsley to almost every savory dish, and also drying alot.I put it on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven, close the door and just turn on the light. It takes awhile-about 24 hours-but it holds its color well and dries thoroughly. Just remove it before you preheat the oven!

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