Ocracoke has been our favorite place to get away from it all for many years. As week one draws to a close, I want to share a sampling of pictures taken of various birds during our kayak trips. We've really been lucky with the weather, and the birds have been quite cooperative!
Though my blog has been relatively quiet of late, it doesn't mean that I've been idle - although part of my activity has been taking a bit easy after what was a fun - and hectic and continually busy - gardening season. Things may be slowing down on the active gardening front, but are heating up with regard to preparations for activities surrounding the release of my book. What's nice about it is that there is so much to learn - going through this for the first time, each phase has been interesting, challenging, and new - from working through the contract, forming the Table of Contents and Proposal, through the part of actually writing the text, planning for the photography, to the frequent back and forth of editing. I've actually enjoyed each part of the process, mainly due to the wonderful support and care coming from Carleen, Carolyn and Matt from Storey Publishing.
The garden is, alas, in its twilight. I've actually turned off the motion detector Water Scarecrow deer dissuading devices, which has led to some munching in our side garden - and that's fine with me (just diseased, no-longer-producing bean, tomato and squash plants that seem to be quite delicious to Bambi). All tomato plants are now gone - the last dozen or so pulled today, including some tomatoes that are finishing the ripening process on our kitchen counter. The last to go were Dwarf Arctic Rose, Dwarf Kelly Green, Dwarf Beryl Beauty, Sean's Yellow Dwarf, Matchless, Stump of the World, Halladay's Mortgage Lifter, Cherokee Chocolate, Giant Syrian, Little Lucky and Arkansas Traveler. I don't believe I've had tomato plants make it into October before!
A few eggplant looked so ill that I put them out of their misery, but at least 15 plants are still thriving and producing a harvest. The peppers are for the most part looking really fine, and they will probably make it to near the first frost before kicking the bucket, though I may do a driveway clean up well before then.
All that seems to be left to the process to my first book, Epic Tomatoes, are last minute wording tweaks, items caught by the proof readers (an effort for which I am grateful!). It is soon to be off to the printers, and expected to show up in bookstores and websites on December 10, last I've heard. I am beginning to hear of acceptances to garden shows; I was very excited to receive such a letter from the PNW Garden and Flower Show, and will be giving two workshops at that event in Seattle in mid-February. My travel schedule in support of the book is just at the beginning of formation, and that is something that will keep me busy over the coming months.
We will be at Ocracoke for our annual fall escape with dogs and kayaks for the next two weeks. Aside from unwinding, I hope to be starting on my second book for Storey, on straw bale gardening. I have many garden projects that I hope to work on in addition to that book - including assessing progress on the Dwarf Project and deciding what comes next, and producing early drafts for my workshops at the Seattle garden show. Of course, sunny, calm weather will induce us to jump into the kayaks, which means less time on the laptop (always a good thing when on vacation).
I will also be thinking through what next spring - and next year's garden - may look like, especially if my winter and spring travel schedule fills up. Book support activity will definitely impact how much I will be able to bite off next spring - I can envision a smaller garden and less seedlings. But that's many months away, and there is lots to do before I have to think about it in detail.