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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fall in Iowa

Sometimes a picture is better than any words (but I know me well enough to know I am not going to stop adding commentary!). Yesterday I took advantage of the beauty and took a few pictures. This is my beloved garden. Every time I look at it I remember all the work Phil did to get the fence up and make it so beautiful. He made it tall enough that the deer won't jump it, with chicken wire around the bottom so rabbits won't get in. We have this garden pretty much put to bed for the winter. It has a nice warm blanket of hay to protect the soil from the harsh Iowa winter, and give it an extra shot of food in the spring. Next February or March I will take the lawnmower into the garden on a warm day and chop up the hay for a finer mulch. I will then plant right through the mulch without disturbing the gentle balance of the soil. I don't have this soil where I want it yet, but in a few years with this kind of loving care, it will be so fertile and loamy, I will barely need a hand shovel to open it up in the spring (can you tell I am missing having my hands in the soil already?)
We were so fortunate to have 7 fruit trees on this property when we bought it. Unfortunately a very bad storm killed all but one within the first month of living here (Nothing like a lightening strike one one side of the property and a 60' tree coming down on (other side of the property) on 4 trees to wake you up). The first summer we were here we didn't get even one apple from this three (I can't remember if there was a late freeze that year). Last year the apple tree bloomed just about the time we got our first bees. We had so many apples last year it was amazing. Apples will only produce in abundance every other year. I expected not to have many if any apples this year. I have happily surprised to get another bumper crop this year. Not as many as last, but so many that we gave away tons. Those little bees are doing their job! These are the last few apples high in the tree. I believe they will be consumed by the birds or deer. We will be feasting on dried apples, apple jelly, apple juice, apple pie filling and applesauce all winter long.

Maggie and Molly in the leaves

can you believe this is what I see when I look out the living room window?

Even weeds are colorful in the fall
I can only wonder what the pioneers thought when they first saw this amazing land. They worked so hard to make it their own. I feel so inadequate compared to them. I am happy that Phil and I are doing our little part to make this a good place to live. What a wonderful opportunity we have been given.

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