October Decay

October makes me sad.  The inevitable killing frosts roll in and leaves go from their gorgeous fall colors to brown in no time at all.   There are times where I wish that I lived in a place where I could garden year round.  Maybe someday we’ll have that dream piece of property with a greenhouse so that I can do what I can.  In the meantime though, this time of year means I work on cleaning up the garden remains from this year, and begin the long dreaming process until April or May.  January, of course, brings the seed catalogs, so there is that to look forward to as well.

I keep meaning to jump on here and make the formal “the garden is officially closed” announcement, but it just keeps surprising me.  I covered the first two nights we had frost, but after that, I’ve just let it frost.  While a few things have clearly turned brown and dead, many have not, surprisingly.  I am still picking fresh herbs.  I’m thrilled.  I did a substantial harvest a few weeks ago and tucked herbs in the freezer, leaving a bit of the plants to hopefully winter-over.  The frost has not killed the herbs, so I’m still picking away!

One surprise this year for me is the celery.  While I don’t get these big beautiful supermarket celery plants, the celery I do get is delicious and cold hardy- when I come across a recipe calling for a stalk or two, I just walk out and slice one stalk off a plant.  It’s working crazy well, and has so much more flavor, as far as celery goes.  Carrots are coming up here and there yet, and of course, that crazy Rainbow Chard is still trudging along.

A big surprise though was those yellow Roman Candle tomatoes that I’d previously decided not to plant for next year.  They’re still going, and they’re still ripening on the vine.  Apparently they are very hardy, so I may just be re-thinking that decision for next year.  I was also surprised a few days ago to walk out and find enough broccoli florets to round out a salad for dinner.  I also have one bunch of kale out there yet, which has a future destiny as a pot of soup.   My green onions are also going strong, and as i have no idea what to do with them, most of them will simply be left in the ground as an experiment.  Will they come back?  Will they do something crazy next spring?  Or will they just die.  Time will tell.  In the meantime though, I have a delightful lentil soup to make, utilizing some garden fresh tomatoes and herbs.  Yum!  And yes, this photo was just taken, much of this was picked today, a few maters were from Monday.  I love my garden!