November News

A tingling, misty marvel

   Blew hither in the night,

And now the little peach trees

   Are clasped in frozen light.

Upon the apple branches

   An icy film is caught,

With trailing threads of gossamer

   In pearly patterns wrought.

The autumn sun, in wonder,

   Is gayly peering through

This silver-tissued network

   Across the frosty blue.

The weather vane is fire-tipped,

   The honeysuckle shows

A dazzling icy splendor,

And crystal is the rose.

November Morning - Evaleen Stein

November mornings, so far, have been much milder than usual. Other than the visit from Hurricane Sandy, our weather has been delightful. But winter is just around the corner, and certainly other parts of the country have been pelted by snow and ice. I have yet to complete my fall garden chores but I am making some headway. The hurricane helped with some of my work - I live on a little rise and the winds blew all the leaves across the road. I still have leaves on the extra large mulberry in my side yard, and the paw paws large leaves are still hanging on. This was the first year I actually had paw paws, and they are delicous! Soft and creamy, like a custard. Too bad I noticed them so late - there were lots on the ground that were unusable. My persimmon, cut in half last year in the freak August storm, needs to be harvested as well. The fruits are very astringent until they are hit by a frost. So I am waiting for that to happen. I've collected some recipes for using persimmons, and maybe this year I will try them out.

Some of the pepper plants are still hanging on. I have one variety - a cross between Aconcagua and Fish - that seems to be a little more hardy. It is not a hot pepper, but very prolific, and I have gotten many ripe, red peppers from it. So I am saving the seeds and wondering what they will do next year. Because I grow so many varieties, I can't always plan on saving seeds, as similar species will cross pollinate, and you will end up with something new. I have lots of teasel, milk thistle and mustard seeds that I will save to plant next year. They always self-sow, but it's good to have a back-up plan, just in case. My mustard grew, I harvested, and it has now come up with a second crop that I am using for salads. That patch should keep going for a little while, until the days get very cold. I've also started  some cilantro, mizuna, and other greens and have been happily cutting my very own micro-greens. I've got to sow some red amaranth - I saw some for sale in a market, $3.99 for about 2 ounces.

The chickens have basically stopped laying - some are molting, and they just are not producing any eggs. I may put a light on in the coop, after they have had a little rest, to possibly stimulate them to lay just a few. It will be over six weeks until the days start getting longer, so that's a little too long to go without my farm fresh eggs. Anyways, stay warm, healthy and happy,

Karen