Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Fall Happenings on the Farm: Produce, Late Flowers, Bumble Bees and Mother Trees

Tonight will be our first fall frost for growing season 2017. This is almost a full month later than we frosted last year. We had a super warm spring, cool summer, very dry summer and fall and everything is confused: we have strawberries flowering and fruiting right the end of October! The chickens are dealing with the cooling temperatures by hanging out on our porch pooping everywhere. They just want to be near's endearing and quite comical.

Beautiful autumnal colors are showing up daily here on our farm. The Asters and Goldenrods continue to feed the bees and the migrating Monarchs and Painted Ladies. We are incredibly grateful for these hardy natives whose seeds travel through the air and germinate all on their own and can somehow compete with aggressive and invasive European grasses. A friend gave us the new Goldenrod guide out from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and we highly recommend you get yourself a copy. It's fabulous and gives much deserved attention to the importance of goldenrods.

Interestingly, we have some Asters, Fleabanes and even Tomatoes that germinated on the North side (no sun side) of our house and are all flowering and setting fruit. Here you can see the shade shadow:

and the blooms:

Arrowleaf Aster (we think), Fleabane & Tomato:

and yes, fruit! Indeed, we have a happy tomato plant flowering and fruiting in FULL SHADE. This observation fits with the one we so often make: there is usually no one right way for anything, ever.

Our right way for acquiring winter squash this year was to visit the Owl Creek Produce Auction since our homegrown winter squash were killed by the Squash Vine Borer Moth. If you've not been to a produce auction near you, we say seek one out. The deals are incredible - we got oodles of winter squash all for less than $0.50 ea. and these will keep us through winter and the next growing season.

Finally, we made two really interesting observations this fall and made short videos to share.

Soon we will write about our high tunnel, lean-to greenhouse and one of our most favorite native trees: Eastern Red Cedar. Thanks for keeping up with us. We feel like our network of friends and supporters are like the Mother Beech roots and our lives are so much richer for your presence.


  1. Awesome post! You should enter that Prius full of Butternut Squash to Genius World Records! Amazing...and smart of course. I transplanted Golden Rod into my yard and its the Tall Goldenrod, IT got so tall, it drooped over, I must get some of the short to go with it to help hold it up...Your girls are enjoying the porch.

    1. We have lots of Tall Goldenrod here too and yes, we've found plants holding plants up is the best! :) Our porch is so gross because of our girls, but we love them so much!

  2. Those videos are super awesome! I hadn't realized to pay attention to beech trees creating little colonies like that. Very interesting! I've been looking for bees nesting in my garden too but haven't seen them but maybe I need to pay a little closer attention.

    1. What alerted me to the bees was the constant hum. I heard it for days and then I decided it was way too frequent in the same spot for just nectar so I looked closely. I bet I walk by so many cool things all the time!


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