stepping out the front door, i was greeted by sidewalks and roads covered in leaves. i biked down to market basket this morning to pick up some lean ground beef on sale. as a general rule, i try to avoid this place on the weekends because it can get crazy crowded (more crowded than usual, which is already pretty crowded by supermarket standards). however it wasn't too bad today, maybe because it was still early.

once i returned home, i got my motorcycle and went to belmont. for lunch i had some meat buns my 2nd aunt, they were surprisingly good, looked like commercial grade meat buns. i brought a rave apple to share, another new apple variety. it wasn't very good, sort of tart, but my mother seemed to like it even though she hates tart foods.

after lunch my father and i started digging up the western raspberry bed. i can't remember the last time we dug them up, maybe never, just judicial pruning. they need to be uprooted periodically to thin out the canes and replant just the good ones. we had to be careful as there was also a large clump of daffodils. after digging those out, i washed them to remove the dirt and then slowly pry them apart. these daffodils were probably planted when i was in high school or college, so more than 20 years ago, and have never been moved. after sorting them out, i ended up with over 50 bulbs to replant.

our planting strategy was this: a long row of golden raspberry canes along the fence, followed by daffodil bulbs interspersed amongst the raspberries. the leftover bulbs in planted some in our front yard garden and then another row along the front of the lilac bush to the quince bush. for the most part we tried to sprinkle some bone meal with the bulbs before planting, something i learned from planting garlics. we also wanted to add some chicken manure, but our next door neighbors were doing a lot of yard work, and we didn't want to fill that area with the stench of bird excrement, so we decided to wait until tomorrow or monday to do that.

my father offered to give some raspberry canes to our neighbors because we had so much. i ended up giving her two of the best, old plants with several viable canes each. even then, we still had a bucket of canes left over. i was thinking about putting them in a labeled box and leaving it on the sidewalk for neighbors to take for free.

my father also put down 3 wooden posts along the edge of the raspberry bed, that will serve as trellises for squashes next year. i'm not seeing his vision and i think it will end up shading our raspberries, but can't hurt to try it out for one year, if it doesn't work we can always take it down.

as for the raised bed seedlings i replanted after digging them out to apply some chicken manure, the japanese red mustard seedlings seem to be doing well, they're more cold hardy apparently, as shown by the mature mustards in RB0, which seem impervious to the few nights of frost even though other plants have wilted away. as for the daikons, most of them still look shriveled, but they're not dead: new leaves have emerged from the crown, different from the old leaves, thicker, greener. this is evidence that the chicken manure is actually doing something. as for whether or not the radishes will mature into tubers, that's hard to say. how long do we have before the ground freeze solid? if we erect a cold frame in the raised bed though, it could prolong our growing season, something to discuss with my father.

the weather today was pretty good, with temperature in the lower 60's, blue sky, bright sun. but after 3pm the sky changed, suddenly turned cloudy. all of this was according to the forecast, that we'd have a soaking rain between 4-6pm, a fast system blowing by the area. it was 4:30pm and the sun had already set and i was still outside doing yard work and it still hadn't rained yet. the rain came a bit later, a steady downpour that last for about an hour, my mother said she even heard thundering. when we turned on the news, all the local networks had breaking news on possible tornadoes in southeastern MA along the cape and islands.

after dinner the rain had stopped. all was calm outside as i started my way back home via motorcycle. but then it started raining again, not a lot, just a drizzle, but even a drizzle on a motorcycle felt like being lashed by 20-30mph winds. i could barely see through my glasses and by the time i got home my pants were totally soaked.