Front & back garden

Last night we had a tropical express blow in bringing hail, thunder, lightening and rain.   Can’t remember a time when it’s ever rained in September!

As the temperatures cool, thoughts are turning towards more indoor activities such as knitting and finishing the projects that were put aside for the summer.    Baking warm loaves in the cob oven is our next project now that it’s advantageous to eat bread to keep one’s internal thermos warm.

There are 3 banana stalks blooming this year and they should ripen in a few months. The strawberry guavas are starting to turn red and ready for picking and we a still harvesting a few handfuls of strawberries and figs. It’s wonderful that we have so many different fruit trees that produce consecutively throughout the season, allowing us to have a continuous supply of fruit throughout the year. I think the only months that we are without fresh fruit are Feb-Apr, but then it’s time to raid the pantry and freezer for fruit that was preserved over the summer months.

We harvested the last 30 or so avocados off the tree and will enjoy them for the next few weeks. The pumpkins and winter squash will be stored away for use sometime in Nov-Dec when bright color is absent from our plates.

This time in the season is when there’s lots of “work” needing to be done in the garden. The perennial plants are looking droopy and leggy, raised beds need to be rotated and planted and so on. People often comment to us that our garden ” must be a lot of work.”   Actually it’s not  hard work at all. Working in the garden is relaxing and something that we all enjoy doing. “We’d rather be gardening” because it’s something that comes naturally to us and we don’t really look at it as work.

Looking back on this summer’s harvest, we were disappointed in the grape and tomato harvest. Unfortunately, these two crops were affected by the worst case of spider mites we’ve ever seen.   We attribute this infestation to the wettest winter on record.

Special delivery!

Collection of waste veggie oil just got easier for us!   The people at the place where we’ve been getting the once-used waste oil are now saving the used oil in the 5 gallon plastic containers instead of dumping it in the 55 gallon drum out back.     The other day they even came by and dropped off five 5 gallon container of used oil.  Delivery to our home of waste oil from one of our produce client, you can’t beat that!   This arrangement brings an end to the messy “grease-runs,” where we had to pump out the used oil into plastic drums and strap the filled containers on the back of the suburban (and try to not drip grease all over the place!).

Yesterday, Justin finished brewing a 40 gallon batch of biodiesel, bringing the number of gallons brewed to approximately 245 gallons of homebrewed biodiesel.