Hunkering Down

Recently I posted about how the cool weather and change of seasons allows us to slow down here on the farm and relax a little.  Well, Mother Nature laughed at me.

The weather has turned cold.  Really cold.  We’re still about a week away from our average first frost date but the last two nights we’ve had freeze warnings.  It’s way too early for that.  The temperature as I type this (at about 5:30 a.m.) is 26.

A little frost this time of year is no big deal.  But a freeze is a whole different ball game.  That prospect of a freeze created a sense of urgency about some things that we’d normally handle more leisurely.

So over the last couple of days, while still doing CSA deliveries and on-farm sales, we had to start up our wood-burning furnace, get up the sweet potatoes, get the garlic and onions planted and covered, get in the last of the tomatoes and okra, harvest all the black beans, disconnect the hoses from the outdoor spigots and put heaters in the pasture waterers.

The garlic all tucked in for winter

The garlic all tucked in for winter

As if all that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, deer hopped the fence around our main fall garden and ate the beets and swiss chard.  Knowing they’d be coming back for everything else, we put down “liquid fence,” tied perfume-soaked rags to the fence, and put up more mannequins.  They hopped into the pea garden as well, but since the peas were almost all gone I just took down the fence so they could get in without jumping the fence (not wanting to encourage their fence-jumping).

A lot of that got done in the dark, but it all got done.

Now the question is how badly our fall vegetables have been damaged.