Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall Garden Joy

As a newbie gardener, I always thought that once the first frost hit and the tomato vines died, the garden was done. So I would pull out all of the plants and call it a year. Little did I know I was missing out on nearly a third of the garden season!

This year's early frost carried with it the usual feelings of disappointment (we really didn't get that many tomatoes) and, I'll admit, relief (no more canning!) But, over a month later, I'm beginning to really enjoy my late fall garden. The broccoli is better than ever (MUCH fewer cabbage worms), the self-seeded fall spinach is really just getting going, and the onions, garlic, chard, and carrots are still going strong. Most of the herbs (NOT the basil) are still doing great (I'm harvesting parsley and chives almost daily, and oregano for our weekly pizza night. I need to repot some of them so I can bring them in for the winter, before they really winterkill.)

All in all, I'm really not missing that many vegetables - mostly just the tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers (the latter two I was ready to be done with anyway). I do wish the pumpkins had a little more time to ripen, but we have enough puree in the freezer to last us a good long while (as long as we don't keep having pumpkin pie bars for breakfast at least once every week like we've been doing!) The poor watermelons didn't have time to ripen at all, so we didn't get any - in our climate, they're pretty hit-or-miss - but I had to try, after we had such success last year!

Still, I am so thrilled that even now, on the cusp of November, I can go out in the garden and harvest the main ingredients for our meals!

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday.

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