When I visited Becca and Darrel Krupla, Becca was busy preserving food. She grew up in a house that canned food. It is just something that she has always done. Canning makes sense environmentally for several reasons. One is that your food is traveling from your garden to your kitchen and there is no transportation impact. Secondly, you reuse mason jars, reducing waste. But canning is also a passion for some. Becca wants to help others learn the joy of harvesting and preserving their own food.
Becca and Darrel have a great raised bed system. The have created multiple raised beds where they grow their produce. They also rotate the planting every season and clean the beds once something is done producing. This enables them to extend their growing season into the fall by planting cool season crops. In the spring they can plant early and put a tarp over the plants if it is going to freeze. Fall is a great time to create some raised beds for next year.
The Kruplas live on a farm and have managed their land with some great conservation practices. Darrel has cleared honeysuckle in his woods near their home. Also in their backyard they have planted a prairie area that acts as a buffer that extends to the stream bank. Planting buffers along streams is great for water quality. The long roots of grasses and native flowers help capture runoff from the land slowing water that enters the creeks. Lastly, they have a pond that attracts migrating ducks and a chorus of frogs.
Red buds and dogwoods also dot the yard. Great under-story trees can be planted in the fall. Fall is a great time to plant. Getting trees’ and plants’ roots established before the ground freezes is essential, but with some warm days and watering it’s not too late to buy a tree. Becca also has a rain barrel that she painted with her grandchild. They have also decided not to mow so often, have several bat boxes on their property and bird feeders.
This is the last article for the season but it is not too late to take action for next year. Fall is a great time to start some projects that will benefit you next year and years to come.
Check us out on Facebook at Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District or sign up for our e-newsletter. Looking forward to visiting your backyard next year. For more information, call Brigitte Hisey, Natural Resource Specialist, Fayette SWCD, at 740-636-0279 or e-mail [email protected] Be inspired!