putting the garden to bed

herbs and scallions
Herbs and scallions gathered from the garden in October. They are on my cutting board, about to become a part of Sunday's roasted chicken dinner.

Anybody who knows me knows how much I love to garden. If I ever win the lottery, I’ll be building a big, beautiful greenhouse, but until then my gardening is a very seasonal thing. Like most gardeners at this time of year, I am putting my garden to bed–clearing out the plants that have reached the end of the growing season, putting down a layer of horse manure (many thanks to Chuck, my coworker who keeps horses!), and so on. Getting ready for winter.

But just because it’s October and we’ve had our first frost, that doesn’t mean that the harvest is finished. I am still picking lots of fresh food for our table. This weekend we’ve eaten soup from fresh greens. I picked scallions and herbs for roasted chicken. And we’re still getting good lettuce for salad.

In the summer you get a lot of produce from the garden, but you work a lot for it, too–watering, weeding, and fighting pests. The fall is much less labor intensive. When you get meals from the garden at this time of year, you almost feel like you’re getting away with something!

I actually wish I had planted more root vegetables to extend the fall harvest. I planted a few beets, but I’m not sure if they’ll be ready to eat before wintertime.

Below are a few photos of the produce from my garden in the past couple of weeks. Is anybody else still harvesting? What are your favorite fall crops?

Buen provecho!

Fall tomatoes
Not all the tomatoes ripened before the frost, but you can still make good use of them in relish, soup base, or even fried green tomatoes.
fall greens from the garden
These are collard greens. I like to plant them in the garden every year. This is probably the most I've ever planted, and they have been a great addition to our meals this year.

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