Solar Tracking

Solar Tracking
How low can you go? Snow and ice and cancelled school.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall Leaves

Early November is leaf gathering time. Because we are the only gardeners on our street, we gather all of the leaves on the block—maple, locust, oak, and poplar—in a rolling recycling bin, and then haul them into the back yard. One nicely packed bin covers a 10 by 4 foot bed perfectly. I try to work early on Sunday morning, weather permitting (it is no fun to pick up armfuls of leaves in the rain), but, sometimes, I need to be out later in the day. I lock Lucy the Grey Cat into the bedroom so she does not roll in the street and head out, oblivious to the stares of passing motorists. Rake and pile, rake and pile, rake and pile. The garden beds fill up, back to front. An occasional kale or collard plant pokes out from the cover; the leeks are snugged in all around. I try and harvest the carrots before I cover them because slugs munch the green tops and the root is lost. Once the vegetable beds are filled, I clear out the flower beds, cutting down the fennel and asters, and cover them as well, first with fig leaves, then with red maple.


This year, our neighbor hired a young man to clear out the leaves on the apartment complex across the street. He dropped them all into our driveway while I was at work—it was no more effort, he said, and it saved a trip to the landfill. I came home one brisk grey afternoon to a mound of brown and gold leaves; when I moved them into the backyard on Saturday, they were already starting to steam and break down. A lovely, wine-y, earthy, leafy smell came from the pile. By late afternoon, the garden was put to bed for the winter. For a few months, nothing will happen in the back yard but a bit of chicken prowl, a few bees searching for hazelnut pollen, and tree pruning. It’s good; we all need a break.


German Apple Pancake: This feeds two of us...

First, place a pat of butter into a large cast iron pan and place in a preheated oven-- 375 degrees-- until the butter is melted.

Pancake:

3 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Beat until smooth, pour in the pan, and place in oven. Cook until it puffs, about ten minutes.

Meanwhile, sautee 2-3 sliced apples in another pat of butter and several tablespoons of brown sugar. Cinnamon is nice.

Put the pancake on the plates, pour the apples over, and eat!





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