Discover more from floricult newsletter
🍁 resources for your fall garden 🍁
+ a new class + my chickens + more photos
August has challenged me more than I care to be challenged, but the highlight has been that two of my sweet babies started laying this week. If you do not care about chickens please just scroll right past all this.
I got four chickens somewhat on a whim this spring, after some self reflection that animals make me happier than anything really in the whole world, so why have I not done a better job collecting them?
I know that no one cares about my chickens but me, and somehow that makes it even funnier that Wild Whitney Rose has turned out to be top of the pecking order, that Hen Solo was not in fact a rooster but is absolutely a loner, that Ruth Ann was the first to lay, and that Little Baby is the noisiest and dare I say clingy. I am really not supposed to let them run around like this, according to Max, but my god there is nothing funnier than opening the front door to these four ridiculous creatures.
Ruth Anne was the first to lay and she is a curvy lady. Rainbow chickens are meat chickens so she has #heft and of course is very good natured. She loves a good tomato.
Wild Whitney Rose is a bougie babe who is the first to be overheated, so we supply her with Big Fans and lots of cucumber. My god does she live for the cucumber. She also looks very heavy but as a Buff Orpington she is 99% feather and if you’re lucky enough to grab her it is like holding air.
Perhaps Little Baby (Golden Comet) and Hen Solo (Speckled Sussex) will get their own features in the future, but here they all are eagerly running back to the coop to see if I put out more food. PS. See that portable coop in the photo? It’s available! For free! Please come and get it!!
So many of you were not around for last fall’s garden, and wow - the season is upon us! If you have not gardened in the fall before, let me introduce you to most forgotten but most rewarding season.
Fall gardens are when we put carrots, beets, and parsnips into the ground and pull them up in the dead of winter to find them sweeter than we’ve ever had them.
Fall gardens are when we yank out the summer tomatoes and squashes that succumbed to bugs and fill every inch with broccoli, kale, cabbage, and collards.
Fall gardens are when we enjoy salads again, but this time with roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes; savory warm salads that feel like fall.
Fall gardens are when we finally use our rosemary and sage for the first time — drizzle them in olive oil and roast them alongside literally any other thing in the oven.
Fall gardens are also when there are fewer bugs, less heat, less weeds. What’s not to love?
If you want to try your hand at it, or keep practicing, below are a handful of resource I’ve assembled over the past year.
If you want to shortcut the reading, I recorded a Fall Garden class this week for everyone which includes a video of me creating my own calendar (because it is so helpful to watch someone else plan their garden) and links to the products I mention.
The most difficult part of fall gardening is learning how to garden responsively to the weather, which is volatile and un-plan-around-able. As humans, it is valuable to know what temperature kills each vegetable — and when they love to grow. It is also valuable to have a few things like shade and frost cloth on hand, to know you can continue growing despite highs and lows, too much sun or too much snow.
If you are looking for freeze-hardy greens, please try out Chijimisai, Tatsoi, Kale, Chinese Cabbage, Mizuna, Mustards, Mache, Spinach, Arugula.
For cold-hardy lettuces, I have grown and love Merlot, Rouge d’Hiver, and Tom Thumb — and other good ones are the Salanova types from Johnny’s, Landis Winter, Slobolt, Winter Marvel, Merveille de Quatre Saisons, Winter Density, and Arctic King.
I would love to hear any other cold-friendly or cold-hardy varieties that you guys have been enjoying lately. 🍂
Until next time - and I promise I will publish my photos from Hagley soon; they are dying to be shown.