Time escapes me, days run into each other and sometimes I am startled that a certain day has arrived. Such is the life of someone who works at home and stays at home with their little one... for me there are not many reasons to know the day or date! Taking classes has given me a little structure but long stretch of days in between often throw me off. So these past few weeks have been flying by and sneaking up on me at the same time. Our theme this week is a walk about, usually I take advantage of this as a major excuse to get out and go on a neighborhood adventure. But I found that harder to accomplish this week, especially since it gets dark by 5 these days! So I did a backyard walk about, looking up and beyond my own fence line. My very favorite part of living here that has nothing to do with our house is the neighbors orange tree, beautiful and bountiful in the fall and winter and so very fragrant in the spring. And I don't have to lift a finger for it's care or cleanup!
Every year I make this statement and every year I mean it more and more, I LOVE FALL. I love the change in weather, the cooling off, the getting cozy, the colors, the smells, the crispness, the promise of the holidays. I feel like I can breath. The shorter days are challenging, but for me the trade off is worth it.
This year my garden grew big, bushy and tall but didn't produce much in the way of vegetables, nothing like in years past. So while I always add new soil and compost and fertilizers before I plant in the spring, this year I thought that instead of having a winter garden (which kind of breaks my heart) that I would give my garden soil some much needed attention. I rejuvenated the soil (read: our yard smelled a little like manure for a day or two) and then I planted a cover crop. The cover crop instead of just taking nutrients from the soil also gives back. In so many ways. First it protects the soil from the winter elements, keeping it from being beaten and washed of its nutrients by rain, hardened and dried out by the sun, etc. Its roots keep the soil aerated. The crop puts nutrients back into the soil at the same time that it uses the soils nutrients to grow. Once it gets to a certain stage I will chop and mix the crop back into the soil enriching it with all that compost plant material goodness. My hope is for some really great soil to start off next springs garden!