Finally, we have closed the lower garden down for the winter. It feels so good to have the whole thing bare (besides the cover crop and straw). I love being home for autumn, it's a beautiful time of year. Spring is my favorite, but I'm at college then, and --I'm sorry-- but it is just not as pretty in Idaho as it is here :)
My little brother found a praying mantis in the weeds that we were pulling. I really don't like this type of bug (not quite as badly as spiders though :) but my brothers let the things crawl all over them. I will take and post pictures of them and that is all ...
There was a lot of leftover weeds and even rotten vegetables that we left in the lower garden so they could act as compost. My brother tilled them in before we fertilized. He wore a bandanna because the exhaust pipe was blowing right into his face and the bandanna helped to block the smell.
Since becoming friends with the Amish, this brother of mine has adopted the handkerchief. He keeps it in his pocket and uses it instead of Kleenex. I'm fine with it, because he does his own laundry. At fourteen-years-old we get a laundry hamper for our birthday and start doing all of our own laundry, and around sixteen-years-old we start buying all of our own clothes because by then we should be finished growing and will want to keep our clothes.
After tilling, we fertilized the garden. I talked a lot about what kind of fertilizer we use and whats in it in my post about putting the spring garden to sleep. This garden is a lot bigger than the spring garden so we used quite a bit of fertilizer.
This little tiller is great for mixing in the fertilizer and decompose, before we spread the cover crop. I didn't get any pictures of us spraying the garden with decompose or even spreading the cover crop but there are lots of pictures of us doing the same thing in my post about putting the spring garden to sleep.
As long as the blade is off, we enjoy riding on the front of the zero-turn mower like this.
The little man hooked the wagon up to the mower with a bungee cord and went to bring us a bale from the lower porch. Dad and my brothers used the bales to make a doghouse for the dogs for winter. The dogs stay pretty warm down there because they're close to the house and the bales act as insulation from the wind.
It took eight whole bales to cover the lower garden--four for each side.
My older brother not only carries a handkerchief, but a knife too. It comes in handy all the time. My little brother borrowed it for a minute to cut the twine off the bale. We try to keep track of all the twine that comes off each bale, but sometimes the strings get away from us and end up in the zero-turn blades.
Our favorite Mormish cheerleader :)
At Last! It feels GREAT to be finished with that garden for a couple months.
It was an exhausting afternoon/evening, but with that garden out of the way we can afford to relax a little bit before we close down the orchard/berries and start cider pressing season. Things never stop around here and I love it! It's nearly impossible to be bored.