Springing into Fall: Clean-Up on the Land

This is the time of year for general garden clean-up and preparation for the next wave of plantings. On October 28 we had a Fence-Raising on our land, a take-off on the concept of barn-raisings, which operate on the idea that “many hands make light work”.  Jeffry plotted out a new, much larger area for the farming activities, which includes enough space to maneuver the tractor inside the fence. 60 ten-foot T-posts were pounded in to mark the perimeter, with help from Paul and Randy. Old deer fencing, chicken wire, and posts were wrestled out of the  morning-glory-vine-covered borders by Margret and  Nell, while Marsha, Paul and Jeffry started putting up the new 8-foot deer fencing. 

This plastic mesh fencing is great for many reasons including longevity/reusability, near invisibility, and the ability to be “stapled” to the ground against smaller critters.  The summer vegetables have been mowed and plowed under to contribute to next year’s soil, leaving only our current rows of cool-weather crops. Our new one-acre enclosure feels spacious and tidy, quietly awaiting Spring planting. 
Two weeks later, on November 10, our regular monthly workday concentrated on general clean-up around and inside the storage container and tractor shed. Three loads of trash and recycling were sorted and hauled off thanks to the efforts of  Nell, Paul, Hope, Lisa, Margret, Randy, Jeffry, Tara, Rick,  4 1/2-year-old John-Michael, and two visitors,  Terry O’Keefe  and  Mary Johnston.  By 5 o’clock the temperature had dropped into the low 40’s and we were more than ready to gather around a fire and share some yummy food. A special treat was wild mushroom soup, made from maitake mushrooms previously gathered right from our land! 
By far the most notable and endearing event of the whole day happened that evening thanks to John-Michael, who had been dressed up as e. coli for Halloween.( Seriously!) He treated us to a rousing rendition of his character’s theme song, “I Am a Bacteria, My name is E. Coli!”  Absolutely hysterical.
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