fall raised beds

Fall begins, astronomically for us, today, September 22, 2010, at 10:09 pm CDT. We had our first frosts at the beginning of the month, but the ground was still warm enough to ward off any damage from it to the gardens. However, the cold, nighttime low temperatures are now hanging on longer into the mornings, and the daytime highs now are not getting that high anymore – barely breaking into the low 60s (mid to high teens for you metric people). Even with the temperatures getting lower, and each day’s light noticeably shorter, there is still much to do with the bees and the gardens. Hives need to be winterized and bulbs need to be planted.

All the honey that I am going to harvest for human consumption has been removed from the hives (well, only one hive this season). Uncapped, extracted and wax filtered out, the honey now sits in neats jars – just waiting to be put on toast or baked into bread. With only about 40 lbs. of honey produced, we are not openly selling it at any locations in the area. We are mostly giving it to friends and family as gifts. Jars are making their way to places around the state and even around the country; Hibbing, Minneapolis, Chicago, and even as far away as Brooklyn, NY. It is looking like a few jars will be available in an auction for Junior League here in the Duluth area, too. If you are interested in getting your own jar or two of our honey, feel free to drop an email to honey@snowshoe-farm.com. We will try to hook you up with the sweet stuff.

Bulbs. It is time to plant your fall bulbs. This includes crocus, allium (including your garlic!), tulips, and irises to name a few. We have a small, tiered raised bed garden next to our sidewalk coming into the front of the house. We planted marigolds and various other annuals in it this year. There is also a monster ladies mantle in the front part of this garden. The diagram, above, is of this raised garden area. I planted nearly 100 bulbs in it, and I hope that with their bloom-times different, we will get bursts of bloom and color for a longer period of time next spring. The crocus should go first, followed by the early tulips with a late-bloom tulip and allium closeout. By that time, the other perennials in the garden should be doing their thing.