Hello readers! Fall is nearly here and the cooler weather, though quite welcome, also means some changes to our porch garden.
A couple weeks back, we harvested about 1/3 of our herbs - oregano, lavender and rosemary - to dry. We hung them in the kitchen on the window rod behind the shades, where there was air flow through the window and it was relatively dry and hot to avoid mold growth. Upon inspection, everything looked good except the rosemary which had some white fuzz on the leaves, so we decided to forgo that.
I think mostly our deck garden was successful, but the one thing we realized was lacking was enough direct sunlight throughout the day. Our nasturtium, though the leaves grew tall, never formed flowers, and I read that their growth was probably more a response to them reaching out for sunlight than the plant's health. Anyone else have nasturtiums that didn't flower?
Similarly, the lavender grew strong, woody stems, but only one stem flowered, and they all reached through the deck rails towards the sun.
What can one do? You gotta work with what you got. Maybe next year, if we're still in this apartment, we'll build an over-the-rails type of container for some of our plants.
Beets and carrots seem to be doing alright without so much sun, and they will be the steadfast remainders into the cold weather when everything else is harvested and, in the case of the lavender and mint, overwintered.
Sometimes I feel very antsy about the fact that we are not living our farm life now. I feel I'm mostly just gaining theoretical knowledge, which I have never really been a fan of. It feels like college all over again, reading but never actually applying the skills, which is a frustration at times. It assuages my anxiety somewhat though to read about others' experiences, and I have found some great resources through talking to other people, finding articles on the internet and, of all things, following folks on Instagram.
One of my recent favorite discoveries is Longest Acres, a farm located in Vermont, whose Instagram is updated by the female partner and not only features gorgeous photos but seriously good advice and honest, funny stories about the highs and lows of farm life. It's a fount of knowledge and a really inspiring read. The couple both worked at desk jobs in the Bay area (one at Facebook, the other as an engineer) before deciding in their mid-twenties that they wanted to get closer to the land and pursue their true passions. Thus began a series of farm adventures that ultimately led to their own 120-some acres in Vermont where they raise livestock like cows and sheep and, though they have a lot of knowledge from years of practice, they seem to learn quite a bit as they go.
Anyone have any other inspiring reads to share? And how are you preparing your gardens for the cooler weather?