Seems like fall is here in PA

soup beans

The calendar says not yet, but it looks like fall here and feels like it too.  We’ve had cool nights of 50-ish and days of 75.  We’ll still get some summer weather yet in September, some  hot days probably, but the air feels different and the annual summer plants know that their season is pretty much over. The big old walnut tree at the neighbor’s had lots of walnuts on and the squirrels have already harvested most of them.  Now they and the chipmunks are out there collecting acorns off the big oak trees.  The squirrels go up after them, but the chipmunks aren’t tree climbers, so they have to collect the ones that fall on the ground.

The green beans are done and have stopped flowering maybe 2 weeks ago.  Once they stop flowering, the beans that are already on there seem to have a different taste and more string.  So I like to stop harvesting them then, and let the rest dry.  Once each pod is dry so that the beans rattle, shell them out and you have really good soup beans.  Collect them as soon as each pod is dry, cos the pod will eventually crack open (to spread the seeds) and you’ll lose the beans.  If you learn how to listen to  plants, they will tell you their secrets.  You don’t do that listening with your ears; you do it with the part of you that wants to know nature.

Roma tomatoes

The tomato plants are looking ratty but the ones that are still on there will continue to develop, just maybe not get as big as they would have earlier.  Here’s the plant that had the one green bean plant growing, using the tomato as its support, lol.

I picked quite a few green beans off that plant and now it will also give me soup beans.  The beans are heirloom Kentucky Wonder beans and I wouldn’t ever plant any other.    I like to pick the beans they produce all summer  when they’re young and tender, and before they get real long, cos then they develop a string and can get a little tough. (The young tender ones have the most amazing flavor.)  But when you’re looking for dried beans, if you let them grow they get long and full of nice brown beans.

I planted a couple of cabbage and collard seeds a few weeks ago and they are starting to look pretty good.  They can take some cool weather better than they can take any real heat, so they are a good spring and also fall crop.

I’ve dehydrated and frozen a lot of good stuff from my little garden.  And eaten a lot too all summer, and given away a lot of tomatoes.  I like to plant extra tomatoes and have some to share.  I learned about growing black eyed peas this year and will plant more next year.  They taste entirely different when you eat them fresh. I never had them fresh before cos nobody around here grows them and we can only get them dried or canned.

Next year I’ll try planting a few new things and expand my garden a little bit.  I make notes on what worked and how things should be for the next year, cos it’s easy to forget over the long winter months.

I’ll watch for the old maple tree to keep trying if its new shoots make it thru the winter.  I had to have the tree cut down last fall, and this shot up out of it this summer.

silver maple tree

Winter will be long and cold but it gives the trees and perennials a rest.  Then in the spring gardeners will go out and dig, and plant more good things they can prepare and eat, and start all over again.   I’ll be out there the first warm day, digging in my dirt………..

2 responses to “Seems like fall is here in PA

  1. “…You don’t do that listening with your ears; you do it with the part of you that wants to know nature…” – that’s a lot of truth wrapped up in there 😉 … You’ve inspired me to give some plants a try soon… I do microgreens and sprouts indoors year round, but maybe I’ll venture into some outdoor gardening too. You’ve had a truly fruitful year, congrats and thanks for sharing

    • Wow, I always get excited if I can encourage (or help) somebody to want to grow things, food especially. This is cool!

      When I say that the plants will tell you their secrets if you know how to listen, some people look at me like I’m nuts. Some get it. You get it!

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