Our garden lulls at the moment, issuing a few tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, onions, carrots, parsnips, and herbs. Okay, not so bad, it's still offering most of our meals, though not enough at the moment to "put food by." Except -- we planned well this year, and have been eating sweet corn since early July, no slowdown in the corn category. I should be reaping two plantings for freezing or canning. A third is almost ready for picking.
Every year seems to star one vegetable. Last year, I called friends to pick an overwhelming abundance of peas. This year, green beans. 42 canned quarts and about 8 frozen gallons stock the basement. The squash seeds I threw into the mulch pile over in the field are yielding a pile of orange stuff we'll enjoy during the winter months.
I understand why many gardeners let up this time of year. They've worked hard since Spring and now the first frost approaches. I keep planting because I long to avoid a table lacking fresh vegetables. I have trouble calling food "fresh" after it has been shipped 1500 miles from somewhere I've never seen. It's amazing to reach down through the white stuff to pull beets and carrots.
Near the end of July, the fall garden began with green beans (may not make it but worth a try), lettuce, peas, beets, broccoli, kohlrabi. August added more lettuce, beets, spinach, kale, onions (fat chance), peas, rutabaga, carrots. September I've neglected, though my intentions have been good. Too much going on. The greenhouse awaits lettuces, peas, spinach, onions and more.
Now those late-July sugar snap peas are blossoming, a good sign that we may have little pods to harvest in a couple weeks. Sweet potatoes are growing underground, I hope. Last time we checked they were too small, as if most of their energy had gone into greenery. The fall and over-wintering beets have sprouted, while last spring's beets wait to be harvested for wine-making, roasting and canning. A fine stand of spinach has escaped rabbits (so far) and I'm hoping the rain predicted for tonight and tomorrow will coax up the carrots.
"It sounds as if you're winding up, not winding down," says Virginia.
We hope so.
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