The shrinking of the garden

growing food

Well, we all get old(er.)  The bad part is admitting it.  OK, I admit it.  The garden will be smaller next year.  That rough area on the right will be planted in grass next spring.

It’s fall and we have something like Indian Summer, and that’s a good thing. There are still Hopi limas developing on the pergola, and I’m picking them every few days. Eliza is still picking her purple cherry tomatoes and purple jalapenos. Most of those have gone red now and she likes them better that way.  I have lots of Hopis, tomatoes and tomato sauce in the freezer, and a few sweet peppers to put in recipes. Delicata and carnival squash are stored away and will keep for several months, both  being winter squash.

winter squash

A while ago I was sitting on the back porch shelling out a few Hopis to freeze and listening to the fall sounds.  Crickets, squirrels jumping around in crunchy leaves, and a black walnut hitting the ground from the neighbor’s big tree.  Then I had a big batch of green bean seeds curing in a jar on the window sill, and they’re ready to put away, so I put them in the freezer. Did you know that if you freeze your seeds for long term storage, you’ll get a better germination rate?  The changes of temperature and humidity in your house cause seeds to begin to disintegrate, but in the freezer it’s a constant  condition for them till spring.

I’ll still have plenty of places to grow stuff next year.  Hot peppers in their pots on the back patio.  Hopi limas and green beans on the pergola poles.  2 summer squash under the pergola, a delicata with the herbs in the raised  bed out back, and 6 or so tomatoes in tomato row.

Since it’ll be smaller, I wanted to make it look nicer, and a big goal for next year is less weeding, etc. So I made the flagstone pathway narrower and longer, and put a brick walkway across the front side of the pergola.  Once I add some mulch down there, weeds will be less of a problem.

bean pergola

My little stool is still there, and very handy to put my phone on, or my coffee, while I’m working down there. And to rest on and look at the blessings of the earth growing again when I get tired.

If you grow food, I hope you had a good season, ate a lot of good things and got to put some away for winter.  Now we store the seeds away and wait while the earth takes a rest, and in the spring, the magic of it all begins again.

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