Hunny-Bunny Update Nov. 1, 2015 and Other Valuable Info
Here at Hunny-Bunny Farm this past week much time was spent trimming and supporting the now spent vine crops. This is necessary in order get ready for next summer, that is, 2016’s crop. In addition, all the rabbit droppings were and are slated to be put on the vining crops. Added to the rabbit manure I added some rock phosphate, AZOMITE, greensand, micro-nutrients and other long term fertilizers. I didn’t add any immediate acting fertilizers as I don’t want to encourage new growth this late in the season. The idea is to have the former nutrients available in the soil when new growth begins in spring.
I also planted some new blueberry plants along the south border where a tree was taken down. I took this tree down because my neighbor, a city-slicker from Queens, NY was worried that should the tree come down it would impact his home. He tried to convince me that the tree was rotten through and through but after cutting the tree it was evident that this Norway maple was quite sound and posed no danger, as I had assured him. Well, I did get a lot of fire wood for the 2016 -2017 heating season, as well as, keeping the peace with the near neighbors. At this time I also came across an Alpine fig tree and planted it to replace the now culled maple. While the best time for planting is, of course, springtime; the second best time is fall.
With the removal of the unoffending tree it was necessary to prevent erosion, (a concern I voiced with the neighbor), and so I went to several nurseries and negotiated a deep discount on his blueberry bushes and the fig. I bought nine blueberries which straddle about half of the borderline and will transplant some other blueberries from the opposite end of the property come spring. This, along with the Alpine fig should lessen the erosion until the plants become fully established next season. All the new plantings seem to be acclimating quite well and should survive the winter. In order to ensure this I mulched with straw, (not hay, which contains seed heads), and will pile on leave later this fall.
This upcoming week I will take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to weed the herb garden. This will start today by introducing four of the older hens to the fenced herb garden to do most of the hard labor before I get in at the end of the week to complete it. I will also add an additional row of slate- block to a small walkway from the patio while the soil can still be worked. This should now complete my fall gardening routine, which is usually quite busy.
Overall, despite the handicap of losing the spring and early summer because of the late winter surgery, I’ve managed to catchup. Deo Gratius, for the extended and beautiful fall season.
Onto Other Matters…
The seven years of scarcity, which Joseph had foretold, began to come: and the famine prevailed in the whole world, but there was bread in all the land of Egypt. Gen. 41:54
With the onset of troubled times that will soon engulf us based on the crisis of the Faith as well as the world turmoil, it is more important than ever to know how to raise your own food and put back for the larder. While I’ve warned of these troubled times in the pages of Catholic Rural Solutions for lo, these past ten years; and while it is late in the game to start preparations and learn needed skills there is still some things that can be done to mitigate the hard times ahead. In an attempt to aid the readership that have not yet prepared I will include so useful tidbits of information dealing with this subject from time to time. It will be under the title: Nick-o-time Knowledge. I hope it will prove of practical use. Remember, just because you don’t have garden space, or this season’s garden was a disaster you can still go to the food stores and buy fresh produce for preservation, processing, and storage.
Storing produce for winter is relatively easy once you understand the storage needs and condition of the various fruits, vegetables, and roots. Below is a table that gives the optimal storage and preservation conditions:
o Beets, in damp sand
o Brussels sprouts, on stems, in damp sand
o Cabbage, wrapped in newspaper; (although I prefer homemade sauerkraut)
o Carrots, in damp sand
o Celeriac, in damp sand
o Celery, planted in a bucket of damp sand
o Jerusalem artichokes, in damp sand
o Onions, in baskets or braided
o Potatoes, in baskets
o Rutabagas, in damp sand
o Turnips, in damp sand.
As can be seen, most, not all, root crops should be stored tubs of damp sand. In turn, the tubs should be stored in a cool moist place; doing this will ensure they last the winter, (providing you put back enough).
As usual remember the daily Rosary in your prayers.
Richard of Danbury, D.S.G.