The Rise and Fall of a Summer Garden

20120916-112654.jpghalf of the garden

Nothing says summer is over like plants going to seed. The tomatoes may still be growing and ripening, but when a carrot tells me she’s finished with the season by sprouting flowers and seeds, I know it’s true. Carrots never lie.
20120916-112740.jpgPurple Top White Globe turnips

20120916-112826.jpgpaprika peppers

The heat is more than tiresome now. Every day we pray for cooler temperatures with no avail. But once the sun goes down it is quite obvious that autumn is on its way. We stay indoors during the hottest part of the day –usually after lunch time– and go out again to do our evening chores once the heat breaks. Evenings are spent refilling animal food and water with something cooler, walking through the garden looking for bugs to squish, and lightly watering any plants that look a little thirsty.
20120916-112904.jpgRosa Bianca eggplant

20120916-113018.jpgvolunteer heirloom tomatoes

Week days are reserved for preserving food. Tomatoes never ripen all at once when you need them to, but carrots will, leaving just a few behind. During these last few weeks of summer my vocabulary only consists of slicing, dicing, blanching, freezing, boiling, canning, drying, hurry, and quickly.
20120916-113057.jpgtrellising Oregon Snow peas

20120916-113211.jpgHoneymoon Honeydew melon

Luckily the fall has new things to look forward to. It’s at about this time of the year when you get to the point where if you see one more tomato, you may very well pull your hair out. Fall is a synonym for all my favorite things. Pumpkins! Spices, apples, fresh baked pies, and slow afternoons come to mind. The days may be cooling off, but that just means more time can be spent outside before winter rolls in.
20120916-113314.jpgFrench Bordeaux Maroon figs

Enjoy the last of these long, hot summer days because in the blink of an eye it will all disappear until next year. And remember, just because your garden is full of ripe foods now doesn’t mean you can’t plant some fall crops to enjoy once those tomatoes and cucumbers are gone. Think root veggies and cool-weather greens!
20120916-113428.jpgflowering scarlet carrot

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