Here it is heading into actual winter and I have yet to get my bulbs into dirt. I do have to give myself a bit of credit, however, since I was much more moderate in my ordering than in the past. Not so with Kitty Burke. She went crazy again this fall. We decided that middle-of-the-night computer ordering has to stop. Lucky for me I don’t own one, so I phone in my orders. Most places don’t open until the light of day.
At any rate Kitty and I planted a ton of Cheerfulness daffodils into clay pots and buried them in the vegetable garden. Hopefully some can come indoors in early spring or adorn the porch. They can be planted out after they bloom.
I have attempted forcing bulbs in the past with varying success. My unheated greenhouse has too much fluctuation in temperature during sunny days for the roots to get their full six weeks of cold.
I was happy to purchase some sweet potatoes from the Mermaid Farm stand. Way to go, Caitlyn! I’ve tried to grow them for years and never had them so consistently large. Of course, she has enormous quantities of cow manure at the ready. I promptly cubed them into a stew.
My son, Reuben, had smoked one of my home-raised chickens. I made a wonderful smoky stock from its carcass. The sweet potatoes, onions, kale, pieces of chicken and noodles were enjoyed for days.
I don’t understand how Christmas comes around so quickly. For years I worked at the Black Dog Tavern. It was unbelievably busy in August with lines of folks waiting to be seated. It was hot and miserable for us working folk. Andrew Kennan, one of the cooks, used to play Bill Monroe’s Christmas Time’s a’Comin to our endless amusement.
How can I segue back to gardening . . . oh yes! Christmas wreath-making. I’m almost too late but I hauled out the wire frames and pruned a few evergreens on the property. I figured I’d use the prunings for wreaths and hence not be wasteful of materials. It is an enjoyable project once a work area is prepared. It has to be outside or in a garage so debris can fall as it will. I have done it in the kitchen on occasion and actually used a rake to tidy up.
I made a stop at last week’s winter farmers’ market. Just driving down the Panhandle Road made me happy, what with the large flock of grazing sheep on the left. We should all be rightly proud of our beautiful Agricultural Hall. I was early, just before 10, so was able to run through my shopping quickly. I purchased three sizable stalks of Brussels sprouts from Rusty at the Whippoorwill Farm stand. He and I tried to figure our why mine had bolted two years in a row. We settled on the variety. I used Heirloom seeds and he Oliver hybrid. I will have to research this winter why this could be so.
The Farm Institute had three enormous coolers of meat. I bought lamb sausage and beef short ribs. Their stand was next to Wendy Oliver’s display of orchids. The sun was coming through the window on an array of color that took one’s breath away. She is the queen of orchids. I tend to kill them.
On Thursday’s local farm report on National Public Radio, Ellesbeth Hay ran through a list of winter farm markets on the Cape. She said the Marstons Mills market is enjoying the return of apple cider donuts and that Sandwich Indoor Market has a great selection of meats including Christmas hams.
How about that Scott Brown? He was whining about returning to Washington for a vote on food safety. He didn’t think it was important. I know people were not fond of Martha Coakley and that she ran a bad campaign but, honestly, a Tea Party-backed candidate in Teddy’s seat?
Back to food safety. The Tea Partyers want little if any government regulation. I, for one, would like my granddaughter to eat safe food. Actually, this is the reason I grow most of my own. I want more regulation on farm products including paying farm workers a living wage. I do it for nothing because I love it and do it for my family but it is hard, monotonous work. I could go crazy this week over the political situation in our country but I think I’ll rummage in the attic for Christmas ornaments instead!