October chores

Sprout Farm News Letter     sproutes@comcast.net         open 9-5 daily

Hello Everyone,

         We're lingering over the first cup of coffee because dawn is noticeably later and it takes longer for the dew to burn off the remaining foliage in the garden.  We're still harvesting our home grown greens but right now the biggest seller is pumpkins.    We don't grow our own pumpkins.  We simply don't have the land needed for that crop.  This year's COVID 19 crisis has changed pumpkin farming.  The farming hasn't changed but those wonderful fall 'pick your own pumpkin' and corn mazes festivals have changed.  Our friends at Sauchuk Farm in Plympton have a fun corn maze, corn cannon, cow train and they used to have pick your own pumpkins but not 2020.    They took a real risk this spring in planting the maze not knowing if the state would allow it to open in the fall.  This year they open reservations for the weekend corn maze on Monday morning and the slots fill up in a couple of hours.  The brightest minds on Beacon Hill have decided that pick  your own pumpkins are dangerous and have closed down this operation.  I hope we laugh about this in years to come but right now this is a challenge.  In past years there has been a large pumpkin patch set up in Mashpee but that is not happening either.  So we are bringing in the pumpkins from Sauchuk Farm but the more exotic pumpkins are coming from out of state through Nessaralla Farm in Halifax MA.  Those towns are west of Plymouth but then everything is west of Plymouth.

    October is the month we look ahead to next year's gardening successes.  Highlights of this month's chores are: Cutting dead wood from spent perennials in the garden and mulching beds-, (read up on cutting back hydrangeas before you get out your pruning shears)

Plan your spring bulb garden and get those daffodil and crocus bulbs in the ground!

Summer-blooming bulbs and perennials can be lifted and split.

The rest of the information can be seen in the article: http://www.gardeninginnewengland.com/displayArticle.aspx?id=29

   Right now I might look forward to a good frost to kill of all the galinsoga that has come to cover every inch of our garden over the last thirty years.  I just found out that it is edible in soups and stews but it only adds bulk and nutrition, not flavor.  Now I love to make soup but I will not start adding this diminutive weed to anything I cook.  I would far prefer for some scientist to come up with a tasty, tame animal  that prefers galinsoga to any other plant in the garden.  Oh, what a feast I could provide.

        Some of the new apple varieties to join the Macouns are Empire and Northern Spy.  Jay is turning under the zucchini and summer squash plants this week and he's nudging me to call it quits on the zinnias.  He likes large garden areas to till under and prepare for the winter rye cover crop.  I'm getting tired of picking flowers but it won't hurt to make him wait for the frost to finish off the flowers.

    Jay is still studying the plug catalogs for next year's garden shop season.  The catalogs are not piling up as much as they have in past years or I've just learned not to look at his section of the office where he works on the computer.

     The cats are fine except Nessy who hasn't been seen for a couple of days.  That's not like her but we've had cats go visiting for longer periods so I'm not going to worry just yet.  There was a opossum killed on the road near the house and we've notice the reduction in cat food feeder refills.  I never thought of automobiles as part of the circle of life but I guess they are.  

That's all the news for now.  We have lots of winter squash, apples, pumpkins, kale, lettuce along with jams and honey.  I travel to Hanson's Farm in Bridgewater for straw bales and cornstalks.  Don't forget to pick up some natural cider from C.N. Smith Farm.   We will have broccoli but it may take a week or more to head up nicely.  Please be patient.

    That's all the news for now.  Stop by and see us soon,

Jay and Phyllis Sprout

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