Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Packing it in for the year--a Trailer Park Homestead update

The nice weather days for working outside are getting fewer and fewer, so when yesterday's gorgeous weather presented itself, I knew it was a good time to get as much done as possible outside!  It doesn't get much better than 57 degrees and mostly sunny in November in Michigan!  I set the kids to work gathering leaves to be composted and got to work on my own projects.
After all, it is going to take a lot of compost to turn this mess of a driveway that flooded the first time it rained back into a beautiful, lush garden come springtime!
I also pulled all the dead plants I could find, but a surprising number of plants, mostly calendula and cabbage relatives are still hanging on out there!  The snap peas and spinach have given up though.
When good compost goes bad.  I emptied out the "temporary" compost bin I'd put together in the spring when the contractor told me I needed to move it from where the original compost bin was.  I hadn't bothered to turn it since I threw it all in the plastic bin that formed its base, since it was just temporary, right?  When I finally did something with it yesterday, I discovered that it had gotten all anaerobic and gross down at the bottom.  Huh.  I guess that's why compost is supposed to be in something that can breath and be turned from time to time.
And this is what prompted my playing with the old compost bin.  This compost pile didn't exist yesterday morning!  I threw in a nice mix of established soil from buckets I'd been growing things that still needed emptied, a lil' bit of manure-y stuff I'd scraped off the back of my parents' truck last time they were by (fingers crossed that there were a few red wigglers in there!), our decaying Halloween pumpkins, leaves, and the nearly finished compost and not so nearly finished compost from the other bin.  I'm thinking that, since it stays a bit warmer in the garage than outside, as long as I make sure it stays moist over the winter, it will be more likely to all be compost by the time spring comes around being in the garage.  I did reestablish a new pile in the "temporary" bin outside too, so I can compare notes, and hopefully end up with even more compost.  Have I mentioned that I'm going to need a lot of soil to turn that horrible driveway into something beautiful, productive, and tasty?
My other big project for yesterday was to pull everything I canned that I stashed around the house to see what I have and how much there is (hint: this is only part of it.  It wouldn't all fit in one camera shot!  There were 243 jars total at the time this photo was taken, not including a few jars I decided didn't look safe to eat and dumped).  Yesterday's post showed everything I've frozen this year (soon to be joined by another deer.  Yay for my mighty hunter husband!), but I haven't listed all that I was able to put up anywhere.  If you want to see the list, let me know and maybe that will be Friday's post.  There is a darn lot of food in this house that I paid little (at the farmers market) or nothing (grown, gleaned, or foraged) for!


  1. I'd make a written complaint about the flood and the real and present danger it presents to your children and yourselves as soon as it freezes. Point out that the dirt driveway was no danger at all, but now that there's asphalt there, it needs to be fixed so it doesn't flood, and it needs to be treated so that deep freezes aren't going to cause you, spouse or children to fall and break bones.

    That said, I sure want to see the list. Your bounty is quite beautiful, and it should be put all together (in multiple photos if necessary) for posterity, just like old timey photos of the harvest used to be. :) Congrats!

  2. That is some accomplishment! You are an inspiration! Now, have some feasting---you have earned it!

  3. Definitely want to see a list. I've been compiling mine but its not nearly as big or diverse.

    Love the kids peeking over the back of the jars as well.