Sunday, October 14, 2007

the beginning of the end

The garden is slowly dying. Real autumn weather has finally set in, the colors of the leaves on the trees finally vibrant, and old Jack Frost finally leaving his blackened mark. It's a funny juxtaposition as at the time of most bounty, the garden is on the wane. At the farm stand, Nick and Teresa have dug up all the carrots and red potatoes, cut the cabbages, picked all the tomotoes and cut down all the brussel sprouts. There are five zucchini remaining. Nick and Teresa too have pulled up their own stakes, and closed up their summer lodgings, and packed their van and headed down south. Their son Danny is still digging fingerlings, and Caleb has the run of what's left in the actual garden.

We've loaded up bags of potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes, the root vegetables for a makeshift root cellar and the tomotoes for sauce to be made this week. Our own garden gave up the first and last crop of the sweetest narrow green beans we've ever tasted, and we transplanted what's remaining of the tomatoes into pots and brought them inside to finish ripening. This is always a hopeful gesture as tomatoes don't like to be indoors, feeling too cramped and dry by the four walls and the fire in the woodstove.

The basil is gone, the bush bean plants too. But the German white radishes and beets thrive. As do the swiss chard and arugula and sweet lettuces. We listen to the weather radio in the morning and as we drive home at night, trying to gauge if we need to cover what's left of our garden. Each day, we wonder what will remain, hang in one more day, and while we are happiest sitting at the table eating of the fruits of our labor, there is a somber air about the hours as we know our own harvest's days are numbered.


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