The beds that grew onions and tomatoes this summer are dug over and composted. Two of the beds were sown with carrots in early August, and as the lacy seedlings unfolded, the grasshoppers were there to nibble them off. Only about a quarter of the carrots escaped; in the spaces where the carrots are no longer, we have sown spinach for fall consumption. Belatedly, we have added row covers to foil the insect pests. September is really early for covering the garden, but we are afraid if we don’t protect the small plants they will all be eaten, and they are meant to provide us with our winter carrots.
Today we sowed another six feet of spinach, and an equivalent in buttercrunch lettuce; the weather is perfect, coolish and damp with the wrack from a hurricane spinning out of the Gulf. We will continue to sow a few feet of salad greens every week until the end of September, and perhaps a little longer. These will be covered with hoops and row covers, and then again with sheet plastic when the snow comes. Some of the greens should be ready for harvest in November or December, God willing, and there should be succession of harvest into early spring. God willing, because no one is more aware than we are of the uncertainties of gardening. There are flats of buttercrunch in the greenhouse, waiting to be big enough to set out in one of the raised beds by the house; covered with stock panel hoops and plastic sheeting, these should be a little better insulated than the low hoops, and we hope will be our insurance in case anything happens to the latter. If everything does well, there will be a little lettuce to sell this winter.
The cool, damp weather we are having makes it easier for the school age children to hit the books; not that they are overflowing with enthusiasm, but right now ditching in the rain is less attractive than a cup of cocoa and a math lesson. If we are to have ware ready for our two fall sales, we will have to get the kiln wiring overhauled and get to work in the clay studio. From raw clay to finished ware is a weeks-long process that can’t be hurried, and demands close attention to timing. We hurry from one thing to the next; there are few breaks in the work load of a revolutionary, but there is a lot of diversity.