Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fall Clean Up Begins...And I'm Going Nuts--a Trailer Park Homestead update

After Sunday morning's frost, a new wave of beautiful weather began!  Now we are looking at the possibility of 80s by the end of the week again!  I've been taking advantage of this gorgeous weather to start fall cleanup in the garden and have started getting a bit gathering nuts!

We opened up the potato condo.  If you remember, this was supposedly able to produce up to 100 pounds of potatoes...

My son was very helpful in sorting through the dirt looking for them.  He is clearly identifiable in this picture as my son, since he is dressed almost exactly like I usually do in a tie-dyed shirt (perfect for hiding dirt and stains, I've found), jeans, and sandals. 
And this was the entire potato harvest *sigh*  I think the potato condo may be converted to a compost bin and I'll probably go back to growing potatoes in buckets next year, since that worked a lot better and was a lot less labor intensive.
So here is the remaining productive portion of the backyard.  I still have carrots, cabbage, snap peas, spinach, broccoli, and calendula growing in this area!
And this is the not so productive anymore portion of the backyard.  I got the former sunflower area cleaned up and put down fresh soil for the spring in there.  The beans are going to seed for use for next year.  The only thing that might still produce something yummy is the watermelon, but I don't know if there will be enough time for the little watermelons on the vine to grow into big, tasty watermelons before either the contractors tear it up or we get a hard freeze.  Either one could happen any day now!
The tomatoes in the buckets are looking sad (stupid leaf spot!), but the six remaining buckets are still producing!  The ghosts of the cornfields are decorating my doorways and yard.  Only three of the ground cherry plants still survive and are producing.  I've rearranged the containers containing spinach and carrots for now, but it won't be much longer until they come inside for the winter.  I'll probably add lettuce to those boxes soon again as well.
The front raised bed still has rutabaga, green pepper, carrots, tomatoes, and a cucumber plant that is barely hanging on.  There are sadly empty squares in this square foot garden, but it is too late to plant anything there this year.
I pulled the watermelon (was in the bottom right mini-bed) because there were no more fruits or even flowers on there.  The snap peas in the mini bed to the left are still going strong.  The area around the lamp still has tomatoes, green peppers, a variety of herbs, and a scattering of carrots
The raspberry bushes as still toss me a berry every now and then.  The blueberry bushes are done and changing color before going to sleep for the winter.
In other news, I found out that sprouted acorns are still good eating, and even preferred by some experts since apparently they are more nutritious, sweeter tasting, and not wormy (since wormy acorns can't sprout, I guess).  My little helper, myself, and a bunch of random neighborhood kids collected a gallon bucket full of them yesterday.  I find it amusing that people generally assume I'm collecting acorns for crafts, since I've read that, since people have first inhabited this planet, we've eaten more acorns than rice and wheat combined!
Not only did we fill a gallon bucket with acorns, my little helper and I filled a 5-gallon bucket with black walnuts.  He loved collecting these since they looked like green balls to him!  Looks like we'll be taking care of lots of nuts today!
In addition to all the work outside, I also canned another dozen pints of tomato sauce this past weekend.  Hopefully I have enough tomato goodies put up, because with frosts this past weekend, tomatoes are going to just keep getting harder and harder to find!


  1. Interesting. I will be watching to see what you do with those acorns. I have a couple of oaks in the yard but they drop very small acorns.

  2. Sorry the potato condo didn't work out. It was such a good idea.

  3. I just dug up my potatoes last weekend and had very little to show for a summers worth of work. I think the colder summer had a lot to do with it. It was very disappointing. Sorry to hear you didn't have success with your potatoes either. Maybe we will do better next year.

  4. Our potato condos didn't work well either. However, we did plant some potatoes in the ground, and they did very well. I don't get it, at first hubby thought it was because the first bin he harvested wasn't seed potatoes, rather potatoes we hadn't eaten and they went to seed. But the bin we harvested today that *was* seed potatoes did the same thing as the non-seed potatoes. We waited because we still had live plants. So, we also dug up the ones we planted in the ground which were also non-seed potatoes, and we got a lot from those. From what I understand Lee didn't have much luck with her condos either.