Monday, November 11, 2013

Starting to feel more like Winter 
I've been busy trying to get things ready for Winter at the Urban Ranch and Terra Nova Gardens.  With the threat of snow today time is short for all the tasks that need doing.  Of course with the advent of Fall and falling leaves the great yard waste collection from the neighborhood is in full swing.
 
This is week two of collection.  So far the bag count is 657.  I expect it will take one more week of collecting bags to completely cover my garden.  Yeah, the garden really is that big.  I figure it's well over half an acre maybe close to 2/3 of an acre. 
 
 

This area covered by bags is the guerrilla gardening area.  It's an area about 30X30 feet that will be planted in corn mainly for the animals in the garden area.  It's just a good way to keep the weeds down and provide a little extra food for the native animals.  If I get my fence completed the corn will act as a decoy to keep them from challenging the fence.  Well, that's my hope any way.
 

 More bags for the outside area to the north of the garden.  I'm not sure what this area will eventually be used for.  Perhaps some fruit trees or berry bushes.  The garden is starting to put on its Winter face.  Fallen leaves have allowed a view of the bank behind the garden.
 
Progress in the garden has come a long way this year.  The garden fence has been expanded.  The graphic fence panels were finished and installed.   The tomato crop was prolific this year and several quarts of tomatoes were canned.  Pints of tomato soup were canned as well.  Most of the tomato crop was given away to friends and neighbors.  The eggplants did well and the green peppers did ok but not abundant as in years past.  The cucumbers had one flush then dried up.  The watermelons never happened but the squash and zucchini volunteer plants did well.  Potatoes doubled what I planted which is not a great year but still those tender new potatoes taste wonderful. 
 
The green beans out did themselves. They were the star of the garden this year.  From a 4X8 foot bed I harvested over five gallons of beans.  I kept a couple messes and gave the rest away.  Maybe next year I'll be more in a position to can more.  I don't really like frozen green beans.
 
A couple weeks ago Lydia, my daughter, informs me that the water isn't draining out of the bathtub.  Usually, that means there's a hairball in the trap.  Drain traps just end up with hairballs when there's girls in the house.  Alas it was not to be this time.  The drain stop slide rod had broken and the stopper was in the closed position with no way to unstop the drain other than working on the plumbing from under the tub.  So happens that's behind the ceiling drywall above the front door.
 

 So, yeah, a hole was sawed into the ceiling.  Here you can see the new plumbing that was installed.  About 20 years ago give or take a couple years, I had issues under here and hired a plumber to fix it.  Over the last 20 years I learned some things about plumbing and what I saw under the tub was not standard plumbing practice.
 This is not what is supposed to be under drywall.  The compression screw tight fittings are never supposed to be buried behind drywall.  Only glued PVC fittings are to be covered with drywall.  The small size drain pipes explains why I had so much trouble over the years with this drain.  Now all I need is to find some one that can fix the hole in my ceiling.  I am terrible at mudding and texturing.  Since this is in a very visible place, it does need to look good.
 
There is definitely a Winter chill in the air today.  The temperature is in the 30s with a whistling wind that bites to the bone.  The threat of temperatures in the teens for an overnight low will make for a frosty morning.  It's time to bring out the hot chocolate and find something to bake in the oven.  Soup for dinner sounds good.  I do love this time of year when the weather outside is frightful and inside snuggled in a lap blanket to read a good garden book or to watch a good movie can really be enjoyed. Winter is a time to rest and plan.
 
Until the next time stay warm and be sure to eat some Winter comfort food.