Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Living in the Farmer's Almanac in October 2013


Happy Samhain!


Farmer's Calendar

Compost, often referred to as "black gold", is a safe, efficient fertilizer that contains all essential plant nutrients. In addition, it conditions the soil for maximum root growth and helps to retain soil moisture.

Creating compost is not a new idea. In fact, Nature has been doing it long before dinosaurs roamed. When leaves and dead branches fall to the forest floor and decay, they are composting. This is natural recycling, brought about through the activities of soil microbes, releases nutrients to feed plant roots, allowing future generations of leaves and shoots to flourish.

Gardeners have devised ways to speed up Nature's metabolic method. They mix lots of "brown" (carbon-rich) materials, such as straw and shredded dry leaves, with a smaller amount of "green" (nitrogen-rich) materials, such as grass clippings and garden waste. When combined properly, the materials heat up and decompose with no bad odor. Turning the pile often will hasten the process.

As landfill space becomes increasingly scarce and expressive, composting yard and kitchen waste is becoming a necessity. Some recycling centers compost and allow folks to take home the finished product for their gardens. Perhaps we are learning what Nature has known all along.

SKY WATCH ☆ Saturn is getting quite low in the west, joining horizon-hugging Venus, which, though still a mere 10 degrees up in fading twilight, brightens to magnitude -4.5 this month. Green Uranus reaches opposition at magnitude 5.7 in Pisces on the 3rd. It's an easy target in binoculars and faintly visible to the naked eye in dark skies, especially during this moonless period. The thin crescent Moon hovers between Mercury and Saturn on the 6th, a low conjunction visible to southern observers. The Moon is to the right of Venus on the 7th and to the right of Jupiter on the 24th. The Giant Planet now rises by 11:00 P.M. and can be well observed after midnight.

Weather

Showers
fade
for
autumn's
grand
parade.
Leaf
season
comes
with
lightning's
bugles
and
thunder's
drums!
Sumac
clothed
in
bright
vermillion,
golden
maples
by
the
million!
We're
not
joking:
a
Halloween
soaking!

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