Summer is over. Officially, it has been over for a while, but I felt like I was able to hang onto it because we were having such warm weather. Now, it's cooled down, we had our first frost, the trees are losing their leaves, the sheep have gotten thicker coats of fur, the heat has been running, and I have been wearing socks all the time. I can no longer pretend that summer is still here.
I finally finished pulling out the garden a couple of weeks ago and planted winter wheat as a cover crop. We made some changes to the garden this fall. We are moving the strawberry patch to its own fenced in area behind the chicken coop. There are too many strawberry plants to be in the regular garden, and it will be nice for them to have their own area to spread out and give us a bigger harvest.
We had a pretty steep hill on the backside of the garden. We had our helper, Sam, build a retaining wall and fill it in with dirt, so now we have a flat, even garden that will be a lot easier to manage. I had the tomatoes planted on the hill this year, and although they grew really well, they were impossible to keep standing up. It ended up being a jungle and made it difficult to harvest, so I am excited for that problem to be solved.
We are having a greenhouse built. It is 12 feet by 22 feet, so it is a pretty good size. It is going to have a wood burning stove and electricity. I am really anxious to get things growing, but the windows aren't in yet. It's taken a long time to build because the carpenters can only work a couple of days a week, but progress is being made, so hopefully, it will be up and running soon.
I have a lot of plans for next year. Hopefully, we will be growing and expanding in many ways. My plan is to get more chickens, more sheep, expand the garden and add a fruit orchard. And next year, I will be canning a LOT more. I thought I canned enough salsa to get us through until next summer, but we are down to two or three jars of our favorite. Uh oh.... lesson learned.