Like the golden leaves on the cottonwood, November is suddenly gone. I realize there are things I did in November which didn't get shared because I was doing the next thing I did in November.
The saffron growing project went from bloom to harvest in the time it took November to wander its way through the days.
From 40 or so bulbs from two different vendors and planted in two different areas of the garden: a small heap of precious saffron threads barely covering the bottom of a 2oz spice jar.
I shall savour this culinary gold in kheer and saffron rice in the coming year. A little goes a long way.
Garlic, put in the ground in the first days of the month, sprouted within 10 days in spite of the rather rough mulching with last year's hand chopped sunflower stalks and other garden debris.
This year I decided to try two different varieties of softneck garlic. Sticking with the Washington state theme, I purchased six bulbs of Nootka Rose seed garlic, and also planted three bulbs of Inchelium Red saved from my 2023 harvest. They went into the sunny south facing, west front area. I've not grown garlic here before. As I slowly transition some parts of the garden to being less needy of supplemental watering, I'm also trying to consolidate areas which are for serious food production and might need watering.
I like to grow garlic and shallots because they tend to produce more than I need from a relatively small area, and thus are something which I can offer at the farmers market, along with (birds willing) apricots, pomegranates and plums. Like the fruit trees, alliums are reasonably low maintenance and occupy space which might otherwise be empty during winter. Garlic, being harvested before the serious heat of summer happens, is not impacted by heat induced dormancy.
The heavy mulching was also an attempt to discourage neighbourhood cats from using the newly turned garlic beds as litter boxes.
The pesky poopy felines have left the garlic alone, for now, but the resident family of Curve Billed Thrashers are having their way with that mulch, scattering it everywhere. Their scimitar beaks are also wrecking havoc on next year's saffron harvest potential as they probe at the base of each saffron clump. Why? birds, why?
Note: my sincere apologies to anyone seeking this post earlier today. Short story: The internet ate my homework.
Longer story: Three hours worth of a long November summary were swallowed up into the great void. Like the entrails a cat leaves after despatching a mouse, all I had left was the title and first sentence so I reverted the post to draft and went away to brood about it.
I have resolved to outwit the blog post eating demon by posting a whole lot of shorter November stories. I apologize in advance for the barrage of notifications which might come through to those who subscribe to notifications.