Sorry for the delay in getting Brian's columns up - the new catalog upload took priority. Thanks for your patience! -Daria, the webmaster
Well, it looks like we're going back to seasonal weather for a while at least. While the warm temps were nice, I'd rather have it colder and sunny. Rainy weather is so gloomy, especially in November. The garden looks pretty dead now; the only things left are beets and Brussels sprouts. I suppose I should finish up the harvest and get on to something else.
The leaves are pretty much gone, except for the oaks and the beech, so I can now see what everyone's been up to since the leaves first came out in May. Although I enjoy the leaves immensely, they do block the views. I can see far more countryside now than in the summer. I rode up to Unity on Saturday and the views were spectacular although gray and drizzly.
On the farm we're still tearing tomato trellises down. This week should finish up that project. We'll pull out the wooden stakes and sort them by: Good ones to keep, broken ones to shorten and keep and those to crooked to do anything with except make kindling wood out of. The steel stakes will get sorted into: same length, type of post and crooked ones that can and cannot be straightened and used again. The really crooked ones will go to be recycled as much as old steel has gone before. The tomato twine has all been taken down and the tomato vines will be mowed before the plastic is taken up.
I really don't like pulling plastic this late in the fall; I don't think anyone does. It's cold and wet and muddy; better to do it on a warm and dry spring day. Oh well, what we do now we won't have to do next spring and there's always plenty of things to do next spring.
By the time you read this I'll be in Vermont with a small contingent of my peers. We are going on our annual trip which includes visits to a composting operation, a seed company and a grower of greens and other vegetables. I didn't go last year but thought I would this year. November is such a nice time to go somewhere. The leaves are gone, and it's cool so there are no concerns of mosquitoes. The snow hasn't started up yet and the motels are just waiting for some business. Rates should be relatively cheap now.
Next month I'll go on my usual quick trip to Aroostook. A real quickie; one night and two days. A couple of visits with potato growers and whomever else we decide to visit. I like to go to Aroostook when snow threatens; it's much more challenging to drive in poor conditions. Unlike most people I take route 2 most of the way. You see a lot more and the traffic is usually pretty light; a few logging trucks going 90 miles an hour. Route two goes through all different types of country, from along the river north of Bangor, industrial forest through Macwahoc and farming country beyond that. At Macwahoc you can take either 2A which goes directly into Houlton, or 2 which continues to follow the river into Silver Ridge Township and through Island Falls and comes into Houlton from the west.
Either way you go there's an advantage over going on the interstate. The interstate is trees, trees and more trees. Taking route 2A brings you into Linneus where Matt Williams has a new and operating grain mill; I like to stop and say hi. There's also a great little restaurant there called "Grammies". Huge portions, homemade food and a down home friendly atmosphere. Also some huge whoopee pies!
Route two takes you into more farming country. Starting in Silver Ridge there's lots of canola fields. Pretty wide open country for Maine. Then you're on to Island Falls (nice town) Oakfield and Smyrna, and into Ludlow. Dick York of Full Circle Farm has his packing facility in Ludlow and has farms there as well as other towns locally. Then you're on to Holton; from there everything's "Just plain North".
Until next week, Brian