I’m a big fan of Car Talk on NPR. Sadly, it is going off the air as the brothers are about to retire. Hopefully, there will be reruns. Their solution to Daylight Saving Time is to fall back every morning and spring forward every afternoon. They’re brilliant!
For me, I’m happy to be back to Eastern Standard Time. Daylight “Saving” Time is the night people stealing from the morning people. I am so happy to have light in the morning now, an added plus — the outside work ends earlier and there is more time for cozy indoor activities.
There was an article in last Saturday’s New York Times about the impact of climate change on world food production. Things look a bit grim for future generations. There will be less food for more people. It started me thinking seriously about home food production on a year-round basis.
I have talked endlessly and repetitiously about my hoop house. We’re talking about a minimum investment here. Even a simple cold frame will provide hearty greens and carrots in the dead of winter.
Carrots can survive in the ground all winter. Simply cover the row with a bale of hay. Roll it off anytime you want to pick. The roots are incredibly sweet once they are touched by frost. I pulled a few on Sunday from a particularly rich area of my garden. I am the queen of superlatives, but honestly, I’m not exaggerating this time. One was six and a half inches around. I measured. I wish I could remember the variety. It wasn’t exceptionally long. I cut it onto long strips and roasted it with a bit of the 18-year-old balsamic vinegar from LeRoux. Yummy.
I’m in need of a Pied Piper. My own garden and several of my job sites are completely overrun with voles. The little jerks eat the roots of all the good plants carefully avoiding my weeds.
My cat is doing a stellar job but how much can one predator do? At many of the jobs they take up residence in stone walls safe from hawks and owls. Craig Kingsbury told me once that skunks will eat them and mice. I’ve been fond of Pepe Le Pew ever since.
Every few weeks, I run into Barry Donner in the Vineyard Haven post office. He and I have a running conversation about the state of our locust trees. We’ve been noticing all summer the lack of leaves. Who knows?
Since we’ve had so little rain the last couple of months, it would be good to give all the shrubs a good soaking. It is an abhorrence for the ground to freeze dry and some of your favorite ornamentals and trees could use a good drink before you drain the hoses for the season. Another important task before winter sets in would be pruning of trees and shrubs too close to the house. This includes ornamental grasses in front of stockade fences and errant rose canes. The winds of the season will cause them to rub on the wood. At best it will leave fan-shaped smudges but could possibly damage the shingles. This is one of many reasons not to place plant material nears one’s home. Mold and bugs will be a problem in our humid summers. I’ve been noticing roof problems on houses with overhanging branches.
I’m loathe to cut back the spent flower stalks in my perennial beds. The little birds are enjoying the seeds. Who am I kidding? I’ll be lucky to do the job before the daffodils emerge.
Speaking of daffodils, I finally got around to ordering spring bulbs. They have yet to arrive. It is not too late to get them into the ground. Some of the big mail-order companies are offering huge sales to us late-comers. I got half-price on several items. Good thing, too, since I spent enough to take out a mortgage.
If I hear one more thing about Obamacare I may lose my mind. The Republicans who have tried every possible tactic to repeal, de-fund and replace it are now whining that the website doesn’t work. Why, oh why, can’t we just have Medicare for all. It works so well for seniors. They (we) all love it.
When I turned 65, I called on the telephone, got a live human being, chatted a few minutes, was well-informed, received paperwork in the U.S. mail, had my card in a few weeks and haven’t worried about health care since.