It’s the week before Thanksgiving already! As I ask myself how on earth that has happened, the list of things that have been done here since the days of farmstands rolls through my mind. It hasn’t been a frenzy of activity with deadlines, but a steady pace and a long list has kept me busy enough.
The landscape beds have received some much-needed attention, and they should be ready for mulch in the early spring. The pile of mulch on the back driveway has been put in the north beds, and that dead purple leaf birch tree has been cut down. Bushes have been trimmed, weeds pulled, saplings cut and treated, and some plants have been thinned. The veggie gardens have been emptied out except for a couple of small patches of sunflowers and celosia that take a lot of energy, pulling and digging to remove. I’ll take another run at those today. The lawn and leaves have been tended, and today the willow leaves will be swept up and that leaves (see what I did there?) just the oak to clean up as it steadily makes a daily mess.
Garlic has been planted! There’s double the amount of this year’s garlic planted, so let’s hope for another good crop. The cost of seed garlic was on the rise again this fall, so I’ve planted some of my garlic stash to see how it sizes up. The ultimate goal is to have enough to satisfy everyone at the stand and resupply the seed garlic for fall planting. Oh, onions were ordered last week, too! They’ll be here in early April. As our days continue to get shorter and colder, my attention will turn to seeds on hand, seeds needed, and reading through the new seed catalogs that have arrived. Seeds for 2024 will be ordered in early December to make sure the varieties I want can be fulfilled.
This seed adventure makes me wonder how you liked the overall selection of veggies and certain varieties of veggies this year. Did you like the broccoli? How about the mini broccoli? Do you want to see heirloom tomatoes again next summer? Did you like the different Roma tomato varieties? I already have feedback that we need more okra, so there will be an entire bed dedicated to it. Would you miss the yellow pear tomato if it didn’t come back? What was your favorite pepper? Did you get enough cucumbers? That is a huge understatement. This was a record year for cucumbers! There were 1,205 of them sold (not including ones in meal kits)! Every time I picked a bin full, I thought it would surely be the week that they wouldn’t sell and we’d be making pickles and relish. But, we made exactly one jar of refrigerator pickles and one container of cucumber dip from some wonky looking cukes! I’m honestly looking for feedback on the veggies for 2024, so please give it.
Let’s talk about baking, jams, seasoned salts and chai latte mix. I love to bake, and with the slower pace of fall and winter, it’s the perfect time. If you have a request for baked goods, let me know what you’d like and when. There are jams on the shelf, and I’ll work on a jam list after today’s final full day of outdoor stuff. There are also several jars of each seasoned salt: Rosemary, Regular, Spicy, and Chili Lime. The chai containers are full, and there are ingredients to make quite a bit more!
With holiday shopping season officially starting next Friday, I should tell you that my booth at Skeleton Key Art and Antiques is fully stocked and ready! Fresh sugar scrubs, lotion bars, lip balms, headache relief, bath salts, hand & skin cream, room sprays, pillow sprays, rollerballs and more are lined up in the display cabinet. Skeleton Key is located at 520 18th Street in Rock Island (the former Wheelan Funeral Home) and the store is having a “Shop Hop” Friday and Saturday with specials and drawings at each location. Here’s the link to their website Facebook page Skeleton Key FB
You can also find a smaller selection of my homemade products at Rescued beginning Tuesday. This will include some dark cocoa mix, chai latte mix, dipped pretzel rods, and the most popular body products. Rescued is located at 2105 16th Street in Moline and is an upscale resale shop that helps local animals in need (emergency vet bills, medical devices, and similar unforeseen pet expenses). A portion of my sales from that display will be donated to Rescued to support their mission. Here’s a link to their Facebook page Rescued FB
Now, here’s a tie-in between these two stores. Both of the store owners participate in Stock & Pile, a craft only resale room located at Skeleton Key (where pop-up shops have been held in the past). This room is always bursting at the seams with fabric, card supplies, stamping supplies, silk flowers, wreaths, yarn, art supplies, and stuff you didn’t know you needed until you spied it sitting there! How does it work? You can donate your unwanted supplies to either Skeleton Key or Rescued. The supplies will be stocked, and you can browse and buy them for $2 per pound. Yes, just $2 per pound! The exception is larger items like sewing machines, vinyl cutting equipment and similar stuff – but even the big items are priced to sell! Donating and buying from Stock and Pile also supports Rescued.
Now that it’s 8:00 a.m. it’s time for me to get on with my day. Vacuuming will be my warm-up before going outside to get things tidied up. Colder days are about to settle over our area. We’ve been lucky with our October and November weather. Some friends in Minnesota have already seen a few inches of snow! Hope you’re well and will chime in with your feedback and requests. Maybe we’ll see you soon!