Every close of summer at Heartwood is bountiful, but there's bounty and then there's BOUNTY: 2019 was deliciously productive! Our two youngest farmers created a luscious vegetable garden in the high tunnel, located in the area known as The Farm, south of the 24-home cluster, on Heartwood Lane. One look at Sarah's happy face and her armload of produce tells you it was a good season, especially wonderful because it was Sarah and Pat's first "go" at farming. Well done, neighbors!
Further north, the Greenhouse and Garden team didn't let the grass grow under their feet (or in the raised beds), as winter delicacies such as tatsoi and kale moved aside to make space for tomatoes, lettuce, basil, cucumbers, green peppers, and more inside the grow dome. And then there were grapes! Every year, we wait for the melt-in-your-mouth grapes growing on the vine that weaves her way across the upper reaches of the grow dome.
The outside beds, between the dome and the hen palace, thrived this year, thanks to plenty of moisture and a secure deer fence. We harvested zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, eggplant, and peppers--and we're still growing more! With all that produce finding its way to family tables, the team decided it was time to build a new set of compost bins, keeping up our tradition of full-circle sustainability at Heartwood. Here's a snap of our new 3-bin composting system! And, scraps and produce that don't make their way to the bins are delivered to our chickens, ducks, pigs, llamas, cows, (and Missy the horse) who enjoy the fruits of our labor right along with us, munching on garden treats mixed in with their feed.
Most of Heartwood's homes feature fruit trees--apricots, plums, peaches, and apples. Here, Beth takes advantage of the community's solar dehydrator at the common house to preserve her apricot harvest for colder days ahead. Soon, the community will be lining up at the cider press, loading up fall apples and capturing the juice in jugs.
We're still savoring our Colorado sunny days, but the temps are chilling in the mornings and evenings. The kids are back in school, and before too long, it will be time to turn under the veggie beds. In the meantime, there's plenty of picking, preserving and pickling to do. Autumn is a glorious time to visit us...and, if you do, bring your cider jug.
With Warm Wishes to You and Yours!