Things have been very slow around here lately. The plants are doing basically what they do: grow very slowly. The pinto beans have filled out very nicely and one of the two fall plantings is getting close to harvesting. I should be able to harvest sometime in the next few weeks. I think I will be getting considerably more beans than the harvest earlier this year. The beans were planted much closer than previously. I like how this turned out enough that I will intend to do this from now on. I have a few more patches of beans growing in the garden that are probably a month behind these. If this winter is anything like last, things will be very mild and I should be fine, but there is always the chance of a surprise frost from mid October on.
I finally managed to get the apples finished last week. I ended up turning the remainder into apple sauce and canning it. Doing everything manually takes a lot of work. I was only able to make about two or three quarts in a given evening and it left me quite exhausted. Things like this remind me how much I have been spoiled with food so far.
It is about the time of year to start thinking about the next year. There is still a huge list of things that need to get done. Finishing up the harvest, planting fall garlic, adding compost and manure to the garden before putting it to bed for the winter. I plan on planting lots of pinto beans next year, but I am also thinking of trying a few more things.
I want to try planting a small plot of buckwheat. This should give me something like a grain and also provide a good nectar source for the bees in the spring and fall when they really need it. But first, I want to get a separate garden plot for it because buckwheat has a tendency to drop some seed before it can be harvested.
Each year is a new start with gardening, and I feel like I have learned a lot in my first year. Maybe by the third or fourth year I might start getting good yields from the garden and I can start being more adventurous with my plantings. I enjoy trying to make the future into the present.