Tamararc
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What to do during the winter months...

Great article on what to do during the winter months. Did not realize how busy I could keep myself with gardening in December!

https://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/artic ... r_tips.htm :D

JayPoc
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This is what I'm doing...I live in the mountains of Virginia. I had no idea this was even possible! :o

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This picture was taken this weekend. I also have some broccoli going in another bed, and a third bed with some very young kale (I started it just before halloween) that I hope will overwinter and be ready to harvest in early spring. A bunch of leaves found there way in there during the most recent wind...I figured that was mother nature's way of helping me out. A self mulching garden....

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applestar
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I'm SO glad you posted that link. I immediately recognized the header design as the website where I saw an article on planting potatoes in the fall for spring harvest. I wrote about it and posted the link here ages ago and have mentioned it several times since then, always apologizing that I could not find the link again. Yep, there it was, and here it is :D

https://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/artic ... potato.htm

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rainbowgardener
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oh man... I never thought about planting potatoes in the fall (must have missed your earlier mentions, applestar). Wonder if I still could, since we are still mostly having fallish temps ...


Things I'm doing now... making Christmas presents and getting ready, ordering seeds, planning next year's garden, still working on fall yard clean up as time and weather cooperates, keeping compost pile and worm bin going. Still harvesting swiss chard; have garlic, onions, spinach, broccoli planted to over-winter and harvest next year. In Jan I will start the first seeds under lights in my basement.
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I usually catch up on projects that I refuse to do in the summers heat of SE Louisiana. I can work all day this time of year and not break much of a sweat in the cooler, dryer air.

My garden is going along just fine with some side shoots of broccoli, collards, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, acorn squash and tons of salad greens being harvested, or just about ready to harvest.

I repainted the master bedroom after adding crown molding, repairing some of the plaster and doing some pretty heavy sanding of the huge amount of woodwork in there. I live in an old house with 10 1/2 foot tall ceilings, heart pine hardwood floors and massive amounts of decorative molding. With these older houses, there is always something to do if you look hard enough.

Today, I'm getting a passenger door and front fender for my sister-in-laws Jeep ready to paint and will be coating it in an hour or so to fix her 42 yr. old sons OOOPS. Going through her insurance company would cost her more than it is worth since they would likely raise her rates over this.

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rainbowgardener
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Yeah always plenty of that kind of stuff. In the fall we repainted the shed/ motorcycle garage, since then shampooed the carpets in the whole house and redecorated the upstairs sitting room with paint the whole room, paint an accent wall, wallpaper borders, new furniture, decluttered, got rid of excess books and stuff including one whole bookcase gone with all its contents... It's the only room in the house that never got painted when we moved in 11 yrs ago and had accumulated all the junk furniture that we didn't want anywhere else. Junk furniture now donated to St Vincent de Paul.
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soil
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I do all my terracing and Swales and other earthworks in the winter. Like said above a task that is no sweat now would be totrure in any other season. Lots of tree plantings. Dividing of berries, cover crops, winter wheat, winters a real busy time for me.
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But some people stop working in their garden during winter.

gumbo2176
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WrightSam wrote:But some people stop working in their garden during winter.
Only the unfortunate ones that live in climates that don't allow winter gardening due to snow and below freezing temperatures for months on end.

Besides growing my vegetables year round, I also like to ride my motorcycle year round and my climate allows that. My friends in the northern states go nuts in the winter with no gardening and the bikes in the garage for months on end.

I complain about our brutally hot and humid summers, but I live for the 7-8 pleasant months of the year. I actually ride less in the summer because of the high heat indexes. There's nothing quite like sitting on a black motorcycle with the hot sun beating down on you and engine heat and road heat coming up to make you long for the A/C.

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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Fall planting of potatoes doesn't work here. The ground freezes down about 8 to 12 inches deep, and freezing ground means dead spoiled potatoes.

"friends in the northern states go nuts in the winter with no gardening and the bikes in the garage for months on end. "

Get snowmobiles!
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gumbo2176
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

jal_ut wrote:Fall planting of potatoes doesn't work here. The ground freezes down about 8 to 12 inches deep, and freezing ground means dead spoiled potatoes.

"friends in the northern states go nuts in the winter with no gardening and the bikes in the garage for months on end. "

Get snowmobiles!
That's exactly what most of them do. They own snowmobiles and run the trails, especially my friends up in Canada that are snowbound for months on end. They also go ice fishing to pass time in those cold months.

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lakngulf
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I worked on expanding the part of my garden that includes tin and hot wire to keep out the raccoons and squirrels. Also, I have been refilling my big pots for tomatoes. I tried something a few years back and like it enough that I use it on all refilled pots.
I take the empty pots down the road where huge oak trees have dropped a thick layer of leaves. I fill the bottom third with leaves, and then finish it off with composted manure soil that I have brought from the farm. These are ready for warm weather!!

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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I'm just trying to make it through Christmas. I am to tired to do anything else.
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Allyn
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I love it when old threads are rejuvenated. It assures me that old posts are still useful. :)

I put some flower seeds in peat pellets --three varieties of marigolds, salvia, monardo, coreopsis and verbena -- and half of them are sprouted already. I got a head start with vegetables last year and didn't start flowers early enough -- well, except for petunias. I had LOTS of petunias last year. This year I'm starting with flowers and I'll pull my vegetable seeds out in another week or two.

We started a new compost pile today. (I say "we" like I did it, too. Really I just pointed and gave directions while my husband did the work. :) ) This one is bigger than the old ones and has a front 'door' on it to keep the chickens out. The old piles -- two of them -- were pallets and the old pallets were just about rotted away as can be seen at the top of this picture:
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That was from about a month ago. It has rapidly deteriorated since then.

We also finished the fence across the front of the property this week. It was the last side to be fenced. We (this time I did participate) stretched a section of garden fence across the gate opening to keep the chickens contained until we get a proper farm gate. Winter is the only time the weather is tolerable enough to work outside here, so all the 'heavy' outside work gets done now. I'm hoping to get a second chicken coop finished before the end of February.

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Gary350
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Re:

applestar wrote:I'm SO glad you posted that link. I immediately recognized the header design as the website where I saw an article on planting potatoes in the fall for spring harvest. I wrote about it and posted the link here ages ago and have mentioned it several times since then, always apologizing that I could not find the link again. Yep, there it was, and here it is :D

https://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/artic ... potato.htm
I planted potatoes once in the fall just as an experiment because I have so much trouble with trying to grow potatoes in TN in spring. I cut my potatoes into pieces with about 2 or 3 eyes and let them dry 2 days. I set the cut pieces on the soil surface 12" apart in a 25' row. I shoveled soil from each side covering the potatoes with about 2" of soil. As the tops grew taller and taller I shoveled more soil from the sides to cover the plants until seed potatoes were covered with 8" of soil. I covered the hill with straw, tops barley poked through the straw when we had a early frost and early cold winter. The potatoes never grew any more tops all winter. Spring came I kept waiting for tops to grow but none grew. I planted tomatoes in April, mid May soil was warm enough to plant the rest of the garden and still potatoes were doing nothing. Potatoes were in my way of planting the garden so they needed to be gone. I was very surprised to find a good crop of potatoes just waiting to be dug up. I posted that on this forum about 10 years ago. I will remember to try this again next season.

At the moment I am doing nothing in the garden. I harvest kale for salad every day. Broccoli is just now starting to make heads. Lettuce and chard are 1" tall and been that way for several months. Peas, garlic, onion sets are looking good. Onion seed is not growing. Carrots are doing nothing either but I know they will when weather gets right. We had 1 night of 14 degree weather, and several nights of 17 degrees and 20 degrees. Last night was 50 degrees and going to be 70 today and 73 Christmas day. All the herbs are doing good, oregano, thyme, parsley. We are going to have 5 ripe garden tomatoes for Christmas dinner there were 5 green tomatoes in the refrigerator that are now setting on the counter top RED and RIPE.

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applestar
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Ooh let us know how that works out with the potatoes next year gary350 8) I think it just gets too cold here, and so far every "little" extra protection I've tried has been gleefully occupied by some kind of burrowing animals. Sometimes its just moles and I don't mind, but chipmunks and voles have loved any tuberous crop as extra winter offerings :x

If I ever have the extra budget for it, I'll try lining a boxed area with hardware cloth or burying large containers with drainage holes secured with hardware cloth.

...too cool that you have red ripe homegrown fresh tomatoes for Christmas :-()
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imafan26
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I only planted sweet potatoes before. What are the requirements for regular potatoes. Can I plant it in a large container? Do they crawl everywhere like sweet potatoes? I know I can eat sweet potato leaves but since potatoes are nightshades, the leaves aren't edible, right?
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I planted a few things I've never grown much before and am glad I did. Even though they are what I call 'One and done" plants, I did put in 8 cabbage and 6 cauliflower plants this year and they are really producing nice heads. I've picked 3 cabbages and they must each be about 12 inches across and the cauliflowers are about the same. We're having a baked ham with cauliflower casserole for dinner tomorrow night. And for the New Year's day dinner we are having the traditional meal of black eye peas with ham and a smothered cabbage with corned beef. They are for bringing luck and money for the new year. Truth is, the only thing they bring me is gas-----yeah, I said that. LOL

Everything else is going great in the garden. Salad greens are so plentiful that I simply can't eat it all, so friends, neighbors and family get their share. The wife and I got out in the garden this morning and I picked a dozen turnips, about 60 habanero peppers, enough collard greens to make a very nice batch with enough to eat and some to put up in freezer bags for later.

We also picked a good 30 green tomatoes that had to come off the fast fading vines or they would have gone to waste. We ate some fried for lunch and I'll use most of the rest to make some Salsa Verde for later use.

Now, if I had a way to not have to deal with all this oxalis that is growing like nuts right now. I can't wait for the first few frosts, if we get any this year, to kill the oxalis.

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Re: What to do during the winter months...

imafan26 wrote:I only planted sweet potatoes before. What are the requirements for regular potatoes. Can I plant it in a large container? Do they crawl everywhere like sweet potatoes? I know I can eat sweet potato leaves but since potatoes are nightshades, the leaves aren't edible, right?
I tried some potatoes in some large containers this year. They really didn't do all that well, but I'm not well versed in container gardening. They do really well for me in the ground. Any potatoes I've ever planted make a bush, not a long vine like a sweet potato vine. I don't think I would eat regular potato leaves. I think you're right about that.

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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Gumbo -- you always post deliciousness for holidays. Everything sounds great!

Imafan, regular plants are equivalent to determinate tomatoes in vigor and height. Similar issues, too. Lots of side branches/vines. Some bloom, some don't. I always have to put up some kind of support -- 3-4 ft high chicken wire works well because I can use that to make "silo" to hold the mulch (pine needles, leaves, hay/straw, compost) but if I don't use a fencing, I use stakes and string corral.

I do think you should be able to grow them during your coldest season -- harvest is usually 90-110 days from planting tubers and there are early, mid, and late varieties.
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

My garden has about a foot of snow on it today and its still snowing. Guess when it quits, I can go start the Big Green and go clear the driveway.

This is what I mean by "Big Green"

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60 HP John Deere doing tilling.

For snow removal we take off the tiller and put on a blade.
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

jal_ut wrote:My garden has about a foot of snow on it today and its still snowing. Guess when it quits, I can go start the Big Green and go clear the driveway.

This is what I mean by "Big Green"

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60 HP John Deere doing tilling.

For snow removal we take off the tiller and put on a blade.
I want to have a piece of property big enough to actually need something like that to prepare my garden. But I'm getting a bit long in the tooth and can't see me living rural for at least another 5 years or so since the wife is still working and not close to retirement. But, one can wish.

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Re: What to do during the winter months...

All this week we will have grandchildren staying with us. Next weekend will be the family Christmas celebration. After the first of the year comes the planning stage for mainly tomatoes and peppers. With nearly 200 varieties in inventory it will take a while to whittle the number down to 35. I try to have 5 or 6 new to me varieties or maybe a few more since folks send me a few varieties to either grow out or try. This is the year to re-bulb the lighting system.

In-between planning and preparation for spring I hope to knock out a couple or three short stories to submit to my favorite science fiction magazines.
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Thanks for the info on the potatoes. I did not realize they required cooler weather. I probably will stick to the sweet potatoes since they are more suited to the tropics and I do like them.

It is a sunny Christmas day, if it stays dry, I think I will take another stab at whacking the weeds. I got another electric weed whacker. The gas one is stronger but much more tiring to use. I don't like weed whacking and the electric one just gives me fewer excuses to use it on the places I have already cleared with the gas weed whacker. The only real humbug with it is that it has a curved shaft so it is harder to edge with it. I just got three loads of laundry and cleaned the house so now it is time to do something more fun.
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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

What to do during the winter months...

Feed the birds, take out the garbage, play on the internet. Maybe play with some pictures?

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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I have one six inch pot in the living room. That is all I am growing. So I feed the birds and sit around and play on the internet. Here is a pic for you.

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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

"I want to have a piece of property big enough to actually need something like that to prepare my garden."

I grew up on a farm. My Father had 150 acres and farmed it with a team of horses. I bought the farm from him. Some of the acreage has been sold but I still hold 90 acres. It is a mountain pasture. My current lot where I live and garden is 2 acres so having the tractor is a good deal for tilling the area. In winter I can mount a blade for moving snow off the drive.
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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Today it was shovel snow. Supposed to be more coming tonight. Present temperature at 8:45 AM is 19 degrees F. I was happy to clear the walks and come in and warm up.
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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

About 8 inches of snow came last night. On top of what we already had, that is gettin pretty deep. Its been some time since we had a deep snow winter, but looks like this is going to be one of those good old fashioned Snow Winters. I went out and cleared walks. Pant, pant. :) Still snowing as I write this.
Last edited by jal_ut on Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

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Guess we can shovel snow. That is a pic of my patio this morning. Those humps are the tables.
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Gary350
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I never have a shortage of things to do any time of the year. It is 29 degrees here and snowing a little, I am restoring an old vintage 1964 FAN camper trailer. I stripped it down to the frame, cleaned the rust off, made some repairs, then painted the metal. Cleaned out old wheel bearing grease, packed wheel bearing with new grease, new bearing seals, new electric brake parts, tested brakes. Built a wood floor on the frame, now I am building walls. Sunday we are going to Florida to hang out on the beach for 7 days. I have trouble finding seed potatoes in Fall and Winter. We had grocery store potatoes growing in the pantry so I cut them in smaller pieces and planted them in pots, they grew tops 2" tall, they have nice green leaves but for 2 months they have not grown at all in the house in a south window. I am not thinking about gardening until April.

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gumbo2176
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Nice work buddy. Taking something like that all the way down for a ground up restoration is a task, but I like your work space. Looks like you have plenty enough room to get things done without being cramped. Be sure to post pics when it is all back together and on the road.

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pomerinke
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

That looks like quite an enjoyable project! I'd definitely like to see some pictures as well once you're finished.
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Gary, what are your plans for insulating this thing, or are you planning to? If I may suggest. before putting the outer shell on the body, staple some Tyvek across wood framing then apply the metal body work. That way you can use that expandable foam spray to fill the voids in the framework and the Tyvek will keep it from adhering to the outside metal in case you have to remove outer panels in the future.

Foam insulation would really help in keeping things quiet in the camper and help keep it warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. Just a thought in case you haven't considered it---------------but I'm betting you have.

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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Gary350 nice project.
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Gary350
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Winter project is coming along nice. I work on it when I feel like it. We took a week vacation in Florida 2 weeks ago. Sometimes I work on the camper trailer 1 hour per day and sometimes 3 hours per day and sometimes 0 hrs. I finished these 2 walls after returning home from Florida vacation.

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I have been poking along slow 1 to 2 hrs work per day. I finally got insulation in the walls and 1 sheet of 1/4" plywood on 1 end.

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I finally got the electric wires in 1 wall and all the plywood cut to fit. Window in the front framed.

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Now the back end of the trailer is framed in and the cargo area is almost finished just have to hold off installing insulation until the bathroom is framed and the kitchen table and 2 seats are framed several of the screws that hold it all in go in through the outside wall.

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It was 22 degrees this morning I checked my onion seeds nothing has come up yet. If seeds do not germinate until spring there probably won't be any onions this year from seeds. We had 2 weeks of 70 degree weather still no onions growing from seeds. The yard is looking nice and green I am glad it got cold again I am not ready to mow grass. Weather man says, 60 degrees Sunday, 70 Monday, 40 Tuesday. LOL. Still not time to plant the garden.

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jal_ut
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I don't have a green house and am not big on planting things in the window sills. Though I do have one ice cream bucket with a couple of pea plants and some radishes growing in the window. What we do is read, research, visit forums, visit, learn, make plans, order seed. Here its 41 degrees today and expecting snow tonight. Won't be doing any planting for a month or so. Plot is under 2 feet of snow.
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Gary350
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

I am setting here thinking about what life was like 59 years ago when I was a kid growing up on the farm in Illinois. My grand parents planted a 1 acre garden for the whole family, 6 aunts, 6 uncles, 14 cousins, we all helped work the garden. Every Sunday after church we all gathered at Grand parents house for a big feast, we all helped, pick corn, pick tomatoes, the women cooked and we all gathered around several tables of food for Sunday dinner. Memories are never lost they are just covered up some where in your mind until one day something triggers a memory that you had not though about for 50 years. One thing I remember the most is how simple life was and how much fun life was then. There was a small vegetable market in town that would buy excess vegetables from anyone's garden so Grandpa had me collect, tomatoes, melons, apples, peppers, squash, grapes, peaches, blackberries, corn, potatoes, etc. and put them in the pickup truck then we drove 8 miles to town. I can still remember how good the vegetable market smelled and the sound of the honey bees buzzing around the fruit. I carried in most of the vegetables while grandma shopped for a few things and grandpa talked to the store owner. On the way home we would stop at the Dairy Queen for 5 cent ice cream cones then stop and filled up the gas tank, $1.34 filled the tank, gas was 9 cents per gallon then. I loved riding home in the back of the pickup truck on those dusty gravel roads it was fun to look at everything as we drove, lots of cows, pigs, chickens at everyone's house, everyone had a clothes line full of clothes in the yard just like us, a pond in the barn lot or field, tractors in the fields some bailing hay and some cultivating the crops. When we pulled into the driveway the dog would come running up always glad to see us return home. Several of the 26 cats would look up then go back to sleep. I would get a bucket of water at the well for grandma then run out across the field to the pond with the dog. I had a lot of fun catching fish in that pond then throwing them back and catching them again. Grandma would honk the truck horn when it was time to come eat, wow the smell of fresh baked home made bread and fresh black blackberry cobbler sure was good and we always had a table full of fresh garden vegetables. .

SQWIB
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Re: What to do during the winter months...

Here's what I do in the winter

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