November 29, 2023

Garden Notes: November 2023


  • 10th: 0.01"
  • 11th: 0.2"
  • 12th: 0.02"
  • 17th: 0.09"
  • 21st: 0.7"
  • 26th: 0.01"
  • Total: 1.03 inches so far
  • range of nighttime lows: 22 to 58°F (-5.5 to 14°C)
  • range of daytime highs: 46 to 81°F (8 to 27°C)
Weather Notes:
  • 1st frost: Nov. 1

November has been garden clean-up month. Almost every day I work a bit on pulling frost-killed summer plants and covering each bed with a thick mulch of fallen leaves. This keeps winter weeds down for easier spring planting. 

Other winter projects will include bed border replacement where needed and aisle clean-up. Wire grass and other weeds eventually take over, so periodically need to be cleared out and new wood chips applied. My garden is protected from cold winter winds, so on sunny days it's a pleasant place to work. 

Of the two beds of cool weather veggies I planted, only one has done well. 

kale, daikons, carrots, turnips, and garlic

I think it was the timing of planting and rainfall. It's been a dry autumn. Even so, fresh greens and roots are a welcome addition to our diet. 

  • greens: kale, daikon, turnip, dandelion
  • roots: turnip and daikon
  • cherry tomatoes (greenhouse, see below)
  • and . . . 

surprise watermelon

It was hidden under a pile of dead cherry tomato vines! They seemed to have protected it from frost, even though the watermelon vine is long since dead. 

I mentioned harvesting cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse. I have one cherry tomato vine in a pot . . .

This cherry tomato plant is a volunteer that showed up in a pot. It's a good test plant.

. . . as well as a few other things . . .

As tempting as it is to fill the greenhouse with plants, I'm trying to keep it to a minimum as we'll be working on the interior soon. 

These are two green pepper plants I dug up from the garden and potted.

Everything in it is doing well. so far, but the real test will be January and February, which are typically our coldest months. Even though it's still a work in progress, the greenhouse holds promise as a winter garden. 

Progress on the exterior continues slowly . . .

I reckon this will be my new winter garden.

Dan finished the siding below the windows with cement board in a barn board pattern. What there is of it. Then I painted it. Currently, he's recaulking the old windows, and then we can finish up with their coats of paint. 

I showed you the cherry tomatoes, and we still have a few slicing tomatoes that I picked green before the frost.

These are truly survivor tomatoes. They made it despite common tomato disease and a long dry spell. Looks like we'll enjoy fresh garden tomatoes on into December. 

I thought this was going to be a short post, but it turned out a bit longer. Does anyone else have gardening news to share?

November 23, 2023

Things I'm Thankful For

Originally, I'd hoped to have a picture post, but I've run out of time, busy with family things. But I do want to take advantage of this traditional time of year to count my blessings. I know how easy it is to complain. Some default setting of human thought and emotion? I find that focusing on gratitude and contentment is so much happier! 

I'm thankful for:
  • My husband, who is truly a partner on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
  • My family. I'm proud of my adult children, their spouses, and their children.
  • Our little piece of land.
  • Our goats and the milk they provide. I'm thankful for their antics too!
  • Our poultry. Everybody seems to be getting along better now that we've thinned the flock.
  • Our four mousers (it takes that many around here).
  • Our garden and all its struggles to produce for us despite our often uncooperative southern weather.
  • The greenhouse (progress update soon!)
  • That so much of our Thanksgiving feast is homegrown: turkey, cornmeal for the cornbread stuffing, green beans for the green bean casserole, winter squash for the "pumpkin" pie, and goat cream for its whipped cream topping.
  • My new sewing room.
  • My table loom (thanks to my dear friend Terry) and the ability to weave again.
  • A cozy fire in the woodstove.
  • A warm lap cat on a chilly evening. 
  • My blogging community. I'm thankful for each of you who visit my blogs and take the time to comment. I'm thankful for the blogs you write, because you help keep my life interesting with your diversity of projects, personalities, interests, ideas, and opinions. 
I truly have a lot to be thankful for.

November 20, 2023

Product Review: Fresh Keeper by Luxear

I don't often do product reviews, but when I was contacted by Luxear, I was really interested in doing this one.  Luxear is the same company that makes those fantastic Arc-Chill cooling blankets that I love. So I already have confidence in their products and this one, Fresh Keeper Refrigerator Storage Containers, sounded like a must have. With a garden like mine, something to help keep things fresh would be a real bonus!

The box contained a set of five storage containers with lids.

These included a good range of sizes: 

196 oz, 129 oz, 78 oz, 46 oz, and 24 oz.

I like the lids, both the carrying handle and the way they snap on.

The removable colander is nice for rinsing produce before storage.

I'm going to confess here, that I wondered if the freshness wasn't due to some sort of chemical additive, but no. The fresh keeping is just simple common sense.

The inner colander lets moisture drip off
and allows for air flow to keep foods fresh.

These can be used for any fruit or vegetable, so for my test, I chose fresh picked garden greens. I washed them well, shook off the excess water,and divided them into thirds. One third went into the Fresh Keeper, one went into a ziplock bag, and the other will be wrapped in a paper towel to store.

Then I popped them all into the fridge. 

Day 1

I checked them daily. Of course, the greens on the paper towel wilted the quickest, so the real competition was between the greens in the plastic Ziploc bag and the Fresh Keeper. After 7 full days, the difference started to show.

Day 8

The greens in the ziploc were beginning to lose color and wilt. The greens in Fresh Keeper were just as fresh looking as the day I picked them.

Conclusion? Fresh Keeper is definitely a keeper! The Amazon link is here. And the good news is that Luxear has given me a 10% Amazon discount code to pass on to you. They're currently running a Black Friday Deal, so the discount will count on top of that!

Seller Rywell Direct:4QL428NE 
Expires 12/31/2028

(Not in the US? You can order directly from the Luxear website.)

With the discount, these would make great holiday gifts.