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Fall begins Saturday but those of you with allergies already knew that because your nose knows.
I really feel for those who suffer because you just can’t escape the air. You can take a tablespoon of honey every day to help drastically reduce your suffering.
Eating local honey builds up your tolerance to everything blowing in the wind. It takes four to six weeks to kick in, so you better start soon if you want any relief in October.
I can’t believe I’m already talking about October. It will be here before we know it. I do my canning in September and start putting everything to bed in October, right after I harvest the broccoli. So, this is the time that I get to roam the farm during the week, picking and putting all those little things that never seem to rise to the top of the to-do list.
The dogs love this time of year. Tiller is especially adventurous. She loves to bulldoze her way through the tall brush sniffing for critters. For those of you who haven’t noticed, the stick tights are out. These little triangle seed pockets stick like Velcro to anything it brushes against. My beautifully red golden retriever came out of the brush last week looking like a chocolate lab. It took an hour to brush her out. I usually put the brushed dog hair around my plants, but this stuff goes directly into the trash because it’s filled with seed.
Spanky, my cattledog/hound dog hybrid has blissfully short hair. Ironically, prefers clear ground and water for her exploring. The roaming around the farm gives me an opportunity to see what wildflowers are blooming. I like to mark them with hot pink ribbon and then gather the seeds in late fall. That way I can plant or scatter the seeds where I want them. Between Mother Nature and Tiller, I scatter a lot.
Every year, after I close the stand, I head to the grocery to stock up for winter. I buy the same stuff every year. This year, when I got to the check out I was shocked at the total. It was $30 more than normal, and I buy the cheap stuff. That said, if you have ever wanted to try growing things inside over the winter, this might be the year for you to jump in with both feet.
The hanging florescent lights, hooked up to a timer will allow you to grow a few things. Lettuce and greens are easy. Tomatoes and beans, not so easy, but you should have some already canned in the pantry. Every year I try something new to grow over the winter. This year I’m going for fruit, since it is so expensive.
I’m taking a cutting from my hardy kiwi to try and get it to fruit this winter. It’s probably crazy, but it will be fun to watch. I’m also doing carrots again, but this year I’m using the lights instead of the window sill. Keeping the lights on for 10 hours and the room warm is the expensive part. At least I’ll get to play in the dirt without freezing my tail off.
Now get those chores done. Start winterizing the outdoor equipment, and bleach cleaning your gardening tools and pots. Oil up those shovels and hoes. I wouldn’t put the hoses up yet though. Your trees will need a regular drink to prepare for winter and we’ll have plenty of warm weather to get through before that arrives. Until then, lets enjoy the sunshine. Happy growing.
Cheryl Steenerson is a gardening columnist for The Anderson News.