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.