Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Mad Rush to Beat the Freeze

Tuesday afternoon we started getting emails from "My-Cast" weather service warning of a FREEZE overnight Wednesday through Thursday morning. Not just a frost, but a freeze. Ug! As low at 25 degrees was the prediction.

We are pretty used to dealing with the frost that usually starts sometime in September for us, but a hard freeze takes things to a different level. We did some double checking and decided that we should pick the apples - depending on the variety, 25 degrees is just too cold. All the other usual victims of frost like peppers, tomatoes, basil, etc. needed to be dealt with too.

Things started kind of slow in the morning as I sorted out onions and garlic that were crated up in the garage so I could free up those crates for potatoes and apples. We picked pumpkins, peppers, a few more cukes, some beans, and lots of lettuce. Then Mindy found out that a freeze this hard could actually damage the potatoes, so we started digging those too. That is when we decided to call in the reinforcements. Our good neighbors the Hendricksons. Barb and the kids came over and helped finish up the potatoes and then we started in on the apples.

Wow, did we have apples. The harvest was so much bigger and better than I expected. We filled up crate after crate with apples. Soon I was dragging out boxes and plastic bins from the garage. And THOSE were filling up. I called my sister and told her to bring boxes. We were still picking apples until at least 7pm best I can recall... it is a just a blur to me now. We didn't weigh anything this year, but based on past experience of what the various containers hold I'm sure we have well over 1000 pounds of apples!

Now we just needed to cover what we could with frost blankets and tarps. We were able to cover most of the lettuce, some peppers, and some beans. The rest we just chose to let it die. Oh well.
After some photo ops with the apples and potatoes we hauled them into the garage and root cellar, out of reach of Jack Frost. We went in the house with our family and friends and had homemade chicken vegatable soup. Then we headed over to the Hendrickson's house around 9pm to help THEM get ready for the freeze. We cut and hauled all the squash into the garage, covered peppers, tomatoes, etc.

We got home some time after 10pm and fell into bed exhausted. The end.

Spud and his potatoesApple picking crew

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