The colors are definitely changing, and it’s easy to see that Mother Nature’s paint brush has been busy laying browns and rusts over the once-green leaves on trees and shrubs. In the potager, most of the cucurbits’ leaves are brown or beige and drying quickly. Some other leaves are yellowing. Only the foliage of the new peas, beans, carrots and turnips are that “spring” green of youth. It’s no surprise that brown is becoming the predominant color, since one of the driest Augusts on record has been followed by THE driest September since records have been kept. Thank goodness we have a good well, and plenty of time to drag hoses here and there.
Early in the month, summer temperatures reigned and this gardener burned a lot of energy harvesting and preserving the bounty, plus deadheading and trimming finished perennials, and watering. The “fall” crops that had been seeded in mid-to-late August were tended. Germination was spotty (old seed, lack of rain?) and some replanting was done. The photo above shows half of Bed 6b, which has a very late planting of beets on the right (probably will end up as greens only) and transplanted “Tom Thumb” lettuces. Webbed flats have been used to shade the transplants to reduce shock, as you can see on the left. I removed them from the two center rows so the plants would be visible. Mid-month brought more stress, both for people and plants as the drying winds increased. We were told the haze in the air was from the wildfires in California, and other western states, and we began to worry about the possibility of fires here, too. Farmers were busily harvesting soybeans and making hay. Finally on September 28th we had a little misty rain, but it was so brief by the time morning tea was over, the wind had dried it completely. The bottom of the rain gauge was not even covered. The same thing happened on the 30th, and that was our total rain for the month. As the month progressed, our hearts and steps grew heavier.
The kitchen and garage pantries are full, and still the produce comes, so the decorative china was packed away and the kitchen shelves that usually hold it or teapots or pumpkins or nutcrackers, depending on the season now hold cans of goodness. Last month I swore no more tomatoes would be canned, but I relented. There are even boxes of canned produce stacked one upon the other in the garage! September’s preserving total is 130 jars or packages frozen.
Pounds harvested from the potager in September were 282.75. That’s a lot of tomatoes, peppers, melons, and peppers plus a few beans, cabbages, onions, kohlrabi, carrots, winter squash whose vines died, radishes, and lettuce. We ate well!
In an attempt to lift spirits, and knowing that the flowers will be gone when frost comes, more bouquets were picked this month than all the other months combined. All in all, September was a good, productive month with some of the most beautiful days and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets in memory. We have much to be thankful for, to be where we are in these troubled times, and to be able to grow food and live the way we do. God Bless America, the land of freedom, and may it continue to be so.
Blessings to you, gentle readers. Be safe, and find joy in little things.
Hurray for your full larder! 130 jars put up in just September! It seems like you weren’t as affected by the shortage in canning lids as I was in Oregon.
As soon as my daughter told us about the virus in Italy, I bought a lot of extra lids, just in case way back in February. There has been a shortage here, so I’ve shared with some friends, but I notice our little grocery had a new supply of canning jars last week so it must be easing a bit. Stay safe out there in fire land!
I love the canned vegetables on display! They are lovely! What a harvest – and all under such dry conditions. Lucky you!
Thank you for the comments. I do find myself looking at that shelf, and feeling good. No rain in our forecast for another ten days though.
I have been known to curs as I pick yet more produce and preserve it but shelves full of jars are very satisfying. I think it is a very primitive thing to know that come what may I will not go hungry. Meals may be bizarre or not what I would choose just at the time but my belly will get filled until the next harvest comes round. We have more than enough rain here – I wish I could send you some!
I wish you could send us some rain, too! None in our forecast for the next 10 days again, but the farmers are harvesting corn now, and the late soybeans (that were planted in wheat fields after the wheat was harvested) so they are loving dry weather. Stocked pantries are very satisfying and comforting, and I’m certainly thankful for a productive potager. Stay safe!
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Thankfulness is the key, Carolee, and it rings out clearly from this post. I love that decorative made way for functional on your shelf. 282.75 pounds of produce is excellent. Reading your updates has often made me wish I was better at measuring mine. Much of my extra (at least damaged tomatoes and cabbages) ends up in the chicken area where the girls enjoy it. This year I’ve been better at preserving but not quite as good at donating to the Food Pantry.