Overall, November seems like it was a good month even with the scaled-down Thanksgiving “celebrations.” There were 20 beautiful, warm days for outdoor work and below normal precipitation once again. The grain-hauling trucks rumbled by day and night all through the month. The farmers were able to get a lot of drainage work done and lime or manure spread on fields. The wheat is up and looking good for this late in the year. The election was finally over, and without the worst-case scenario of civil war, and although the Covid numbers jumped dramatically, overall things seemed rather calm compared to the prior months. The clocks were set back, and I’m not sure my internal clock has adjusted still. College football returned, and the first college basketball games began, so life seemed a little more normal.
During November, the bulbs were all planted, and there was lots of tidying up in the gardens. The tender plants have all been moved indoors, and any “tender” crops have been harvested and brought into the garage or preserved. If you look at the photo, you can see rows of garlic emerging in some beds, and the two plastic-covered berry box/cold frames that are now protecting crops that will be harvested in the coming months. The beds that are empty have received a good layer of homemade compost, and “sheet” composting has begun in some beds where the soil level is a bit low. The crucial work is done. Prep for winter is far from over though, since none of the deck planters have been trimmed, none of the summer furniture has been stored yet, and there are still hoses to be rolled up and stored away. Do notice how pretty the newly stained beds and top rail look in the photo. It’s pretty doubtful that any more staining/sealing will be accomplished until spring, but still hopeful that the last two berry boxes will get built soon.
Since the temperatures were dropping, on the final day of November one patch of leeks was dug. The photo is of the largest leek I’ve ever grown, weighing in at over 1.5 lbs. A reference object would have helped you understand the size, but the bulb was 4″ in diameter at the base! There is still one bed unprotected to be dug,(just right of the closest berry box in the photo) and under the taller berry box there is half a bed of leeks and half a bed of carrots, so there’s lots of leek and potato soup in our future, and maybe a leek pie or two!
Total harvest from the potager for November was 53.5 lbs, up from 38 lbs. last year. This year’s harvest was mostly leeks, red cabbage, carrots, beets, lettuces, turnips, broccoli raab, radishes, and kohlrabi, along with lots of herbs. There are still lots of hardy crops to be harvested in December. The only preserving was 11 pt. of pickled beets and some jars and tins of dried herbs. Everything else was eaten fresh, or is in baskets in the garage, which was the goal for this year: to eat more “fresh” rather than canning or freezing so much.
The first amaryllis bulb was planted on November 8th. It’s the one on the right. The one on the left was just planted November 29th, but it’s catching up. I should have expected that since the one on the left is a “Christmas” amaryllis. They are called that in the catalogs because they are the ones that come from warmer climates like South America, Mexico, or Africa and produce flowers very quickly so they are the ones generally mass-produced by commercial greenhouses for the holidays. The bulbs are generally a bit smaller, too. The bulb on the right is from Holland and will take longer to come into flower, but it will be worth the wait! So, when you are purchasing amaryllis bulbs, look for their place of origin to know if they are quick or slow. I like to have amaryllis bulbs coming into flower when the Christmas decor is taken down, so the house doesn’t seem so empty and gloomy without all that glitter and lights. The hyacinth bulbs are currently chilling in the refrigerator, and will be planted in January, and I kept one little package of species tulips to pot up as well.
That’s the November monthly review for 2020. No complaints really, and definitely giving thanks for all the blessings of the month.