Not Much Happens in Winter with a Garden

I haven’t written a post in over two months, which is not something I should be doing.  Big gaps are a large annoyance with other people’s blogs and I am positive that they are following this blog don’t like it.  It is just that sometimes there is not really that much to write about, or I’m not looking hard enough at what I am doing and then writing about it.  Probably the latter.  So, time to make up some lost ground with giant post that covers the past two months…

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Sad, dead tomato plants.

Shortly after the first frost of the year, the second frost came in and killed all the remaining tender plants.  There is nothing I can do but rip them up and throw them in the compost pile.  I might be able to get row covers for next year, but it is not very high on the list of things to buy.

Elephant garlic emerged in late October.

Elephant garlic emerged in late October.

I got a bit of a surprise when the elephant garlic I thought was dead decided to emerge from the ground.  Only half of the plants actually survived, the others are truly dead.

I also decided to plant some standard garlic I picked up at a farmer’s market stand.  As of my last check, 18 plants are still alive and growing very slowly in the winter sun.

The shelled and unshelled pecans.

The shelled and unshelled pecans.

The main thing that has been consuming my time is pecans.  Picking them up off the ground and then shelling them.  There are just so many of them and they are all rather small that it takes a long time to get anywhere.  It takes me about ten to twelve hours of cracking to fill up a quart jar with shelled pecans.  So far, I have managed to fill just over five quarts, two of which have already been eaten.

I had both mine and my wife’s family over at my house this year for Thanksgiving, which was both nice and very hectic.  Some of the pecans  were made into a very good pecan pie and the pumpkin that decided to grow out of the compost pile was used in making pumpkin pie.

Old bee frames I found in the attic.

Old bee frames I found in the attic.

While digging around in the attic to get the Christmas lights down, I came across very interesting two things: several boxes filled with glass jars and parts of bee frames.  I can only guess that one of the previous owners of the house was also a beekeeper and left some parts here at one point.  The frames clearly look old, but I have no clue as to how old.  I have a few frames in my hives that look as old and need to be replaced with new ones, so these could be fairly recent.

Wilted Garlic and Watering Bees

Wilted garlic that may be on its way to being ready to harvest.  Or it may just be dying

When I was checking the garden today, I noticed that the elephant garlic I planted looked wilted.  I know that I watered and fertilized the garden yesterday, so I don’t think it is wilting from lack of water.  I am slightly worried about adding too much fertilizer, but none of the other plants that I added the same fertilizer to look wilted.  What I hope has happened is that when garlic is ready to be harvested, the tops wilt and the leaves turn brown.  I hope this is the case so that I can harvest the cloves, break them apart and immediately replant to try to multiply the number of garlic plants I have for next year.  I want to work up to about one hundred cloves total.

Bees taking a drink at the watering hole.

Today has been rather hot.  Like any other animal, bees need water.  Unlike most mammals and like most insects, bees are not very good at swimming and will drown in large bodies of water.  Large for a bee anyways.  Anyway, the bees like to cluster on the algae growing on the water pump hoses.  The algae stays wet and the bees don’t drown and everybody is happy.