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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017

The frost is, or is about to be, on the pumpkin and I am ready.

Posted Sunday, November 4, 2007, at 8:13 AM

Being an avid gardener, my beginnings and endings often revolve around seasonal changes. This year, spring looked like it would be unusually early but reality snapped back in with the freeze. What looks to have been a nice long fall season was never reality for me because of the lack of rainfall.

My growing season ended at the end of May when I concluded the rain was not coming. I have a dislike of using city water for my plants so after babying them along through May, I pulled the plug.

Next year it may not be a wait to see how reduced my fig crop will be, it may be to see if they survived at all. I even stopped watering our family heirloom from Italy.

Some area folks were fortunate enough to get occasional thunderstorms, but our farm saw less than a quarter of an inch in three months and maybe an inch more through five months. Our road could be wet, but our driveway was dry.

I dreamed of building a 10,000 gallon rainwater collector for many years. It would have paid off this year.

If there is any satisfaction to be gained, it might be from the fact that my lawn of natural grasses and weeds seems to have survived. My family always gave me a hard time about never putting in a carpet like lawn. This year would have killed it all, so... a little win.

But with all my complaints, our local farmers have taken a terrible blow. I still have my businesses to go back to, but growing IS THERE BUSINESS and they have to be hurting.

Many farmers worked part-time jobs just to support their love of the land, but this year they are probably working full-time jobs, along with part-time just to stay on their land and survive.

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.