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Garden Newsletter: Hurricane Michael Came and Went

More Rain and Wind than Hurricane Florence

We live in the north central Piedmont of North Carolina. Last Thursday, the remnants of Hurricane Michael remained strong enough to give us a lashing and drenching.

Local forecasters had warned only of flash flooding. The storm track had shifted further north and west. Trees came down, low lands flooded. Lots of folks lost electricity and internet services.

Trees Doubled Over and Howling Wind

On Thursday mid-afternoon, we stood inside looking at the scene outside. Trees were nearly doubling over with the gusts. Cracking, popping, and crashing sounds occasionally penetrated the howling wind and rain. This went on for a good thirty minutes.

All in all, we were fortunate.  We lost part of an old willow tree. Our street access was blocked. The bog behind and below us flooded.

Our internet and cable was cut off for three days. But we were very fortunate that our power remained on the entire time, except for a few blips that required resetting our surge protectors.

Envisioning New Lakefront Property 😉

Downed Trees Blocking Streets

The street leading to our house had several tall pine trees come down across it, and we used our truck with a tow strap to move them off to the side.  On Friday and Saturday, we could hear the constant buzz of chainsaws as our neighbors took care of their fallen trees.

Driving into town, we spied power lines down, broken poles, and several huge oaks heaved over. Thankfully, no houses had been struck.

Following Hurricane Florence, our neighbor’s saturated oak tree split at the trunk and toppled down his hill into the road. We whipped our chainsaw and chains to drag it from the road, so no one was stopped from getting in or out.

With hurricane Michael, we had a similar scenario but it was all scrub pines.

fallen trees from hurricane Michael

We send our best hopes and prayers for all those hit hard by the storms and its after effects as well as for those first responders and work crews who are hard at it, patching communities back together.

The one blessing that comes in these times is how neighbors and communities pull together.

 

We Still Have a Garden

So, we’re still here and our garden spot is remarkably intact. Even the covers remained on the plantings! The tall okra got blown sideways, but they are still producing.

With the passing of the storm, the daytime highs have gone from the high 80’s down to the lower 60’s. Lows are creeping into the 40’s. So, we are definitely into late-season fall gardening as everything growing is slowing down.

Garden Discoveries

We discovered some white (albino?) peppers growing on our fish pepper bush and our loofah vine is finally putting on some gourds.

White Albino Peppers

 

Our fenced in garden is now sporting a new look. Sweet potato vines, cucamelon, vines, and loofah vines have spread in all directions. Kinda looks like a kudzu invasion.

We use the “garden mailbox” to store tools.

 

Harvest

We have peppers, okra, and quantity of eggplant to enjoy this week.

These home grown garden veggies will be going into a delicious Ratatouille soup!

Fuyu Persimmons

A  branch of our Fuyu persimmon broke off from the weight of all the fruit it carried. We now have over twenty semi ripe persimmons sitting in our garden window in hopes they’ll eventually change from greenish to orange.

Most fuyu’s can be harvested before fully ripe and still ripen to perfection if left to sit out on the counter. They also tend to be sweet even when slightly firm as in those is this photo below.

 

Fuyu Persimmons

A Hearty Ratatouille Soup Recipe

This is a recipe we sourced from “Two Kooks in the Kitchen“.

It’s based on many of the ingredients found in ratatouille dishes and allows the preparer (kook 😉) options to add in their own veggies, toppings, and garnishes. Our okra, peppers, and, of course, eggplant were are piled into the soup pot for a delicious vegetable soup.

We didn’t have roasted canned tomatoes on hand, so we added a few drops of roasted flavor and that worked almost as well.

Recommended Garden Books

Going through a period of internet blackout reminds us that our bookshelf holds a great store of information that can be quickly accessed without clicking.

Reading through a real book, tabbing pages, and highlighting passages seems more interactive and impressive than the on-line forays.  Here’s a selection of our standard references on pruning, straw bale gardening, insects diseases and weeds, and square foot gardening.

Some of these may be out of print but readily obtainable as used books. As winter approaches, we look forward to more book reading time. . . by the fire . . .with a warm cuppa.

What’s Happening in Your Garden…?

That’s it for our garden update. How’s it going in your garden realm? If you have comments, photos, or just wish to say howdy, please do. We’d especially enjoy hearing  how your fall gardening efforts and harvests are going. You can post on our Facebook page, or send us an email.

As always…

“May your gardens flourish and your harvests be bountiful, and when you look upon your little Eden, may you see that it is good.”
~Coleman Alderson, GardensAll.com

Tally hoe!

TALLY HOE!

Grow Great Gardens!


Coleman Alderson

G. Coleman Alderson is an entrepreneur, land manager, investor, gardener, and author of the novel, Mountain Whispers: Days Without Sun. Coleman holds an MS from Penn State where his thesis centered on horticulture, park planning, design, and maintenance. He’s a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a licensed building contractor for 27 years. “But nothing surpasses my 40 years of lessons from the field and garden. And in the garden, as in life, it’s always interesting because those lessons never end!” Coleman Alderson

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