Where does the time go? December all ready. Let me try to catch you up.
My fall garden, for which I had high hopes in early September, never really came to fruition. I planted a row of beans, a row of kale, a 6×4 bed of carrots, a 4×4 bed of turnips, I planted a few rows of mache, and a few rows of spinach. A pretty good fall garden, right?
Well, I guess I can be too disappointed. I should listen to my own advice. This is my standard piece of advice for new gardeners: Keep you hopes high, but your expectations low.
I’m not sure of the exact rainfall totals, but I know it felt like it rained on my garden everyday from mid-August to late September. My little seeds never really had a chance to do their thing.
Sure, some did. I have exactly 7 carrot sprouts, 2 turnips, about 7 kale plants (I planted three varieties, but only one sprouted), zero beans, zero spinach, and a handful of mache.
I am thankful for what I have. And there is a chance that my seeds will over winter and I’ll have some good things growing early next March.
That’s’ the update on the garden. So much more has happened that you may or may not be aware of or actually care about, but nothing is stopping me from giving you a quick photographic tour of the past few months. Follow me.
We found this bold-faced hornets’ nest hanging in our apple tree. These critters get aggressive in the late summer and early fall, so your best bet is to keep your distance. But once a frost hits, the hornets die off and you can collect the nest for a unique conversation starter. This nest is hanging in my barn now, but I might haul it to work to hang in my office.
I’m proud of the parsley we grew. This is all from the seeds my daughter and i started in the basement last April. We spread it all out on a large sheet of paper. It took a few weeks, but it’s dry now. It should be enough to last us through the winter.
Here’s my fall garden—after a freak October snow storm!
Sadly, we lost this giant oak tree in the October snow. Wet snow on autumn leaves throws off the balance of things.
We have an old summer kitchen behind our house. It’s been overrun by trumpet vine, a native, yet aggressive vine. It gets beautiful reddish trumpet-shaped flowers that attract humming birds, but I felt compelled to take it down a notch.
And finally, here’s me and my kiddo at the Christmas tree farm near our house. Check out my guest blog at Kiwi Magazine for my 8 Reasons to Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree.
OK, now you’re all caught up. I’ll try to be more regular with my blogging. -eh
Planting a fall crop and seeing the seeds sprout is like experiencing a mini-spring. The onslaught of autumn can be overwhelming if you let it. Fall is beautiful, what with the crisp air and colorful leaves and all, but let’s face it: the implication of autumn is nothing more than winter. Cold. Dark. Winter.
Ah, but the planting of a few seeds in late summer gives your garden a new lease on life. Or at least a seasonal sublet.
With this in mind, let me introduce you to the vernal soldiers of the fall: my kale seedlings.
I’m in a transition. My bush beans are about done—I pulled them out on Saturday morning. There are just a few ears of corn left in the corn patch. My potatoes are dying back, so it’s time to harvest them. My zucchinis were huge, but have since withered and died. I harvested the garlic, and most of the onions have been dug up and put to good use. The peas are long gone.
What does this all mean to me? A few things….
First, it reminds me how fast time goes by these days, how fleeting a summer can be, how if you blink you might just miss the season completely. I remember how summers used to last forever, how a day was so long, how a week down at the shore as a kid was nearly a lifetime in and of itself. I’m sure it’s just a function of growing older and the general relativity of time. A year is a seventh of your life when you’re seven. But when you’re 38, a week at the shore is hardly any time at all. I guess that’s why it’s so important to live in the present moment—to be in the now. Let me coin a phrase: To be in the Now is to be in the Know.
(Yes, I tend to get a little philosophical here on my blog)
This transitional period of my garden also means that there’s a whole lot of real estate coming up for grabs soon, and I need to be on the ball in order to get my fall crops in the ground in time. Here’s what I’m thinking:
Kale, more beans, more kale, more peas, maybe some more zucchini, I have a packet of quinoa seeds, spinach, more kale. I might even try a late crop of potatoes, but that’s more of an experiment. I’ll let you know what happens.
In the meantime, we are enjoying the steady onslaught of tomatoes. My family’s favorite thing to eat is tomato salad: tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, salt, and lots of olive oil. Some good crusty bread, and maybe a little fresh mozzarella if you have it. So good.
I wish I could train my dog, Chester, to sniff out garden pests. Maybe someday.