Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Death, and Life

Jack Frost paid us a killing visit last night, our first this season. Yesterday I should have gathered the warm green tomatoes that are now shiny, soon-to-be-slimy.

A couple weeks ago I transplanted a tomato vine into the greenhouse we constructed from a kit earlier this Fall. The vine's been doing fine, with red fruit ripening. Neighboring spinach sprouts thrive and potted artichokes show new color.

I think I'm in love with this year's beets, carrots, parsnips, salsify and greens, which rest outside in their beds of mulch. I wish I'd planted more, although I recall that in August when I started these guys the rest of the gardens were packed with thriving crops. To me, rare is the candy that beats the taste of a freshly dug carrot.

A long list of garden tasks awaits me. I should dig potatoes or mulch them to bed for the winter. It's November, so I must get garlic growing. The entire garden needs to be tidied, composted, manured and mulched so it's ready to be scratched open when the first seeds of next year take their turns. No-till gardening works well so long as I plan ahead.

Brrr. That was not my computer whirring this morning. It reminded me of another chore -- collecting and splitting firewood. I've marked dead standing trees with gold spray paint. If I were a year or two ahead, as I should be, our woodstove would be roasting, our home fire burning.

Virginia in more than one sense got a second chance to burn the home fires.

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