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 October 1, 2016
  
This email is the latest in our monthly series intended to keep you up to date on Hubbell Community Management happenings.
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Phone:
515-280-2014

COMMUNITY NEWS
The Horror Story Behind Pumpkin Carving
Jack-O_-Lantern The frightening origin of the jack-o'-lantern is well-suited to the Halloween holiday. Dating as far back as the 1500s in Ireland, legend has it that Jack the drunken farmer's dealings with the devil went sour. He was turned away from both heaven and hell upon his death, leaving Jack to wander the darkness with only a single lump of burning coal to guide his lost soul. He often took solace in a turnip, so each fall harvest, communities would craft their own turnip lanterns to scare away Jack's spirit.

Irish immigrants brought the tradition with them to North America, where they found a new vegetable perfectly suited for jack-o'-lanterns: the pumpkin. Children began carving Jack's face into the pumpkin lanterns to increase the fright factor, and by the end of the 19th century, jack-o'-lanterns were standard fall decor. Whether you prefer spooky skeletons, silly faces or a more elaborate design, check out these pumpkin carving patterns for the whole family.
Fall Maintenance List
We can deny it all we want, but winter is just around the corner. Before the weather takes a nasty turn, complete some important tasks around your home throughout the month of October.
  1. Clean Your Gutters: Once the trees lose their leaves, clear out the gutters and downspouts around your home. Flush them with water to ensure they drain properly and water isn't flooding around the spout.
  2. Change Your Air Filter: The filter on your heating and air conditioning system should be changed every 1-3 months for optimum air quality and efficiency. You may also want to have the system serviced by a professional before you flip on the heat.
  3. Prepare Your Fireplace: Get your fireplace in working order before the frost hits. Check for a tight seal on the door gasket. For a wood-burning fireplace, a professional chimney sweep should inspect it annually.
  4. Store Your Outdoor Furniture: Clean any outdoor furniture or barbecues/grills, then store them away in protected areas for next year's use. Empty all soil from your pots and planters.
  5. Replace Outdoor Light Bulbs: You'll want your walkway and porch properly lit when it begins to get dark before 5 pm. Also check your railings and stairs to make sure they will offer sturdy support during ice storms.
For a thorough fall home maintenance checklist, click here.
Outdoor Report
Welcome to the first edition of Outdoor Report, a new monthly series devoted to all things lawn and landscaping.

Adding Compost to Build Soil in Your Yard
Wondering how you might build healthier soil underneath your lawn? One simple option is to apply organic, locally made compost 1-2 times per year. Organic compost will not burn your lawn, so it can be applied in addition to conventional lawn treatments and fertilizers. If you live in an association or sub-association that already provides lawn care, consider applying the compost yourself or contact hoa@hubbellrealty.com if you are interested in having this product incorporated into regular lawn care.

Where to get compost:
Metro Waste Authority, a major, local waste management facility, manages a wonderful composting and distribution service called Compost It! The program composts leaves, grass clippings, and brush collected around the metro and turns them into Turf Gold Compost, a natural soil conditioner.
 
Purchasing options:
Purchase individual bags at retail prices from a variety of participating companies in the metro, hire a local contractor to deliver and spread compost for you, or go in with your neighbors to purchase bulk in a minimum amount of 4 cubic yards (two pickup truck loads) at $44 per 4 cubic yards. The material can be spread using a fertilizer spreader cart or by shovel and rake method. Click here to learn more.
Hubbell Community Management Staff

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