As the leaves begin to turn and the nights get cool and crisp, the garden begins to wind down. The last few straggling tomatoes are still trying to ripen, along with the peppers and eggplant. The asparagus fronds wave in the evening breezes, and we compete with the birds for the last crop of raspberries. The pole beans are still going crazy, giving up nearly a pound of beans a day, half of which we are freezing for winter nourishment, but the bush beans are nearly worn out. It seems like the garden is winding down after a long, hot summer, but it's really just transition time.
The new seedlings that we have been setting out over the past month are finally coming into their kind of weather - with the cool nights and warm days, they are reaching up to maximize the weakening sunlight. Spinach and kale, beets and bok choi, carrots, kohlrabi and brussels sprouts are all growing like weeds. Speaking of weeds, since we let a few of our mache plants go to seed last spring, those are coming up too. This weekend, we re-assembled the cold frame sides on the top of the raised bed, in preparation for that first frost. We put conduit hoops over the other raised bed with the broccoli and brussels sprouts that won't fit under the cold frame. When the frost comes, we will be ready, and our cold-weather veggies will continue to thrive, into the depths of winter. For tomatoes and beans, though, we will have to rely on the jars on the shelf and our packages in the freezer.
Until next summer.
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