1 This is an autumn scene behind the greenhouse - the bright orange foliage of a sugar maple and a carpet of fallen golden brown needles from the tall white pine.
2 The fence around the cutting garden is adorned with the giant seed heads of Russian mammoth sunflowers, which grew beautifully this season. Birds love eating sunflower seeds.
3 This little Meyer lemon tree is loaded with fruit. Meyer lemons have a sweeter and more floral taste than other lemons and they also have very thin skins, making them difficult to transport and store. It's a real treat to be able to grow my favorite lemon.
4 With cooler temperatures, Clive, Rufus, and Billy are spending more time in their little run-in, especially when there's a chilly wind blowing.
5 This is the drive through the maple grove. The Japanese maples, which were planted a few years ago, are beginning to assume their more colorful autumn foliage.
6 About a year ago, we started planting Petasites japonica quite successfully in the maple grove. This large-leaf plant is easily grown in consistently moist to wet soils, in part shade to full shade.
7 Last week, Ryan and Gyurme went to my home in East Hampton to work on those gardens. They thinned out many plants, including a bed of Petasites, which they brought back to the farm to plant in the maple grove.
8 Fernando and Wilmer took on that project.
9 Before planting, the large leaves were removed, which die back to their root stock in the autumn anyway and were already fading.
10 This soil is very fertile and rich in organic matter, as is evident from the thick layer of worm castings on the surface. Worm castings are the organic material that has been digested by earthworms and has tremendous nutritional value.
11 One doesn't need to dig very much to find those worms.
12 Once a deep enough hole was dug, the Petasites roots were positioned in the hole.
13 Bio-tone Root Stimulator was sprinkled on, which is an organic food to help the plant establish strong roots.
14 And the next hole was dug. You can see what I was talking about with the foliage of the Japanese maple. This one is changing to a lovely shade of red.
15 This is the greenhouse where most of the potted tropical plants are stored through the winter. These plants were brought from East Hampton, where I have no greenhouse.
16 The rest of the crew has been busy removing fallen trees from the woods - victims of last October's Hurricane Sandy.
17 They've been using the wood chipper to chip smaller branches.
18 Those chips are broadcast right back into the woods for earthworms and other creatures to devour.
19 The large tree trunks are being hauled to this enormous pile of fallen trees. Soon, the giant tub grinder will visit the farm to grind up all of this wood, turning it into chips for decomposition.
20 Right next to that pile of wood are the compost mounds.
21 This is a fully "cooked" pile of compost. While decomposing, the temperature reached 150º, which is hot enough to kill many of the pathogenic diseases and weed seeds. We call this pile "black gold."
22 Obviously, this pile has weeds growing on it, which means the weed seeds are still viable. With proper turning and heating from decomposition, this too, will become "black gold."
23 An early autumn landscape
24 The meandering carriage road leading into the woods is obscured with fallen leaves.
25 Another victim of Sandy - The crew will work their way to this part of the farm for more clearing.
26 The distinctive foliage of Virginia Creeper, which turns crimson in the autumn.
27 This tree is marked for removal.
28 As you can see, it is quite dead.
29 More of Sandy
30 More dead trees marked for removal
31 Fallen leaves collecting on this little stream in the woods
32 This tree is clinging to the banks of the stream with its roots. Obviously, it's been growing this way for quite some time.
33 Looking towards a bright green hayfield through a stand of trees
34 Although planted rather late in the season, the pumpkin/gourd patch is beginning to impress. Ryan used the same seed packets that he planted last year.
35 This is a bright orange pumpkin from France.
36 Another squash from France called potimarron.
37 A dark green variety
38 A yellow pumpkin
39 A green striped variety
40 Another striped one
41 A bright orange warty crook neck
42 And a white butternut type of squash