It’s a bittersweet day when I finish putting the garden to bed. It means that I’ve given up on any more warm spells, I’ve harvested every last tomato and pepper, and I’m nearly ready to open the garden gates to let the rabbits forage through the months we call winter.
The tie-ups are removed, sitting in a pile in the garage so they can dry. I’ve never seen the point in washing them. They’ll dry over the winter and be ready for tying up a whole new batch of seedlings next summer. The tomato supports are set aside, too, resting against the garage near the rain barrels. The barrels need to be emptied and upended so they won’t freeze and break in the winter temperatures. That will happen tomorrow or Sunday if all goes as planned.
I gave in and stocked up on acorn and butternut squash at last week’s downtown farmers’ market. Stored properly, the squash will last a long time. Now that I’ve discovered Amigo likes squash, I’ll cook it more often. This young man likes very few vegetables. I sense a butternut squash soup coming up soon!
The raspberry patch will weather the weather well and the aforementioned rabbits will prune any or all of it for me. I pretend they’re doing it to say thanks for the winter food source. Really, they’re probably laughing through their teeth at the silly human who thinks she’s doing them a favor, these small furry creatures who’ve been finding weak spots in the fence all summer long.
The mini-greenhouse shelving is indoors now. The sage and parsley weren’t doing well, so I might replant them. The basil that went wild has been picked, processed with a little olive oil, and frozen. The oregano, rosemary, and thyme are still thriving. I hope they last! I sense a few homemade pizzas with fresh herbs in our future.
It’s a mixed feeling, indeed, saying goodbye to the plants I’ve nurtured from seed. But don’t worry, readers, it’s not a true blue funk or melancholy. Putting the greens down to rest isn’t the end; it’s a new beginning. I’m already planning which tomatoes to plant next year, which peppers, and where they’ll go to use the soil to its best advantage. Speaking of soil, I’d like to stir the compost one more time. The heat in the middle will keep it decomposing so I can dig it out and spread it in the spring.
Until we get a long lasting freeze, the parsley is still trying to grow.