Passing of Another Summer

Tomorrow marks the first day of Autumn. The beautiful warm days and thundering lightning storms are about to come to an end. Walking the dog at 9:00 at night with the sun still shining has long passed. Several of us think we are going to have an “early” winter, well early by today’s standards, and the cold snowy evenings will be arriving in the Autumn for the first time in a while.

As much as I’m not looking forward to the cold, it would be quite nice to sit at the window watching snowflakes flitting about. Bringing the quiet of it accumulating all around us.

Until then, it’s time to see Summer out and Autumn in. It began with the last big harvest of the season. There are still some cherry tomatoes to be had, but the others have been put to rest. You can see the bounty of that last harvest above. Lots of cucumbers, Hatch Chile’s, Italian parsley, gobs of carrots, and some green onions. Last, but not least, a bounty of the cherry tomatoes.

There was no way we’d be able to eat all the cucumbers, so I put out a call to our neighbors to take a few—which they did. Some of the Chile peppers, tomatoes, and green onions went into a nice salsa. In searching online, the carrots were peeled, sliced, vacuum bagged, and put in the freezer. They’ll be ready for some stir fry or soups this winter. All of the remaining green Chile’s were roasted and frozen by the hubby to add some heat to our winter dishes. I’m thinking of making some meatballs this weekend to use up the parsley.

My garden has done quite well this year. Lots of pickles and veggies are sealed tight for the winter months. Several loaves of zucchini bread, and a couple of salads, not to mention the salsa’s and sauces I was able to make from the harvest throughout the growing season.

I’ve already begun planning for next year. Deciding on what I will grow again and what doesn’t make sense. Where to rotate crops from raised bed to raised bed. Marking the calendar to pant the tomatoes and peppers earlier next year to give them a better start outside. I’m even thinking, but don’t tell the hubby, of adding at least one more raised bed into the mix. I’ve even saved some of the seeds from the harvest this year to see if I might be able to propagate some of the plants from year-to-year without buying more seeds than necessary.

For the first time I’m also trying to do some natural composting in the beds. Rather than toss the whole of the spent plants to the garbage dump, I cut off the hard roots of the plants, trimmed off the leaves from harder stems, or kept everything but the roots to toss on the beds. I’m trying to decide if I should bury the debris, or rather mix it up in the dirt. Or, do I just leave it all on top of the dirt and allow it to decompose naturally over the winter. I’ve not done either, so not sure which would work best. Maybe I’ll try it both ways since I have enough raised beds with which to experiment.

Although I will miss being warm, I guess I just might be ready to put the shorts away, dig out the coats, and relax in front of the window to enjoy a fresh blanket of snow—but not too soon.

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