last harvest

Today was my last harvest. In the rain-sun-rain I grabbed the last of my carrots, beets and cabbage and yanked the leathery, sorry tomato, pepper and basil plants.

I am ready for hardy soups and flannel sheets. Partly because I am excited to start over next spring. And the only way that can happen is if the soil freezes and absorbs this year’s organic material (how do worms survive? I always picture them in tiny sleeping bags with a straw that poke out of the crusty surface to bring them air while they are frozen and immobile).

The truth is I am disappointed with how my garden wound down this year. My tomatoes worsened and definitely had bacterial spot or maybe blight. I didn’t investigate too much because they were still producing and the season was ending and I have a really full life right now and didn’t prioritize my plot as I would have liked. sigh. After harvest the tomato plants went straight in the trash. Tragic because they are one of the best over-winter garden loungers, warding off weed-seed germination with their thick web of wilted greens.

I am very satisfied to have purchased a pumpkin instead of having a pushy plant that bullies all the other veggies in my modest plot. Bug and I went to our neighborhood farm to pick it out. She also helped me pick out some green tomatoes because I made an extra giant batch of Green Tomato Relish Salsa Delish. Anyone else super disappointed with Ball’s new canning lids?

On Monday I get boxes of apples and pears from a generous friend so the preserving continues. We won’t starve this winter. In fact, we will eat local fruit and veggies for several months at least. I feel great about that.

So, it’s on to making that quilt that has been in pieces in my basement, painting my hallway, skiing and holidays which means eating and drinking and kissing on my loved ones. And then, it’s almost spring and time to pour over seed catalogs into the wee hours of the morning while Andy pleads babe, please turn out the light and go to sleep. And, THEN it’s spring and time for arugula and rhubarb.

And so it will be the beginning of it all again. Next year I will have potatoes that’ll make Idaho swoon and garlic! I, for the first time ever (pathetic, I know) am planting garlic. Today.

13 Responses to last harvest

  1. sarah says:

    when i finally settle somewhere and buy a house i need you to come and teach me how to make a garden. that first picture is so great!! it should hang on the wall of a restaurant.

  2. The new lids are so lame. I’m with you- the cute cornucopia lids are much better. Stickers can improve the look significantly, of course.

  3. Susy says:

    I noticed the new lids this year as well. I still had a few boxes left over from a year or so ago.

    I’m switching to Weck Jars (Mr Chiot’s is buying me some jars for Christmas). So in a couple years my pantry will be filled with beautiful jars with rubber seals and glass lids (no BPA). My few glass Ball jars will be used for gift giving preserves in. A few will remain as they are my grandmother’s jars, they will store rice and other dry goods.

  4. Patia says:

    Is it just me, or does that cabbage in the middle have a FACE?

    And, oh, what a cute little tyke!!!

  5. TRB Holt says:

    Ahhhh, the end of a season! I would say you did quite well with your harvest.

    I too am making applesauce and applebutter next week. I found an orchard not too far away; get to pick my own! Our recent move made me miss the canning season this year….bummer for me and for those who count on pickles at Christmastime.

    I am happy to say that I will be one of the recipients who you will be eating & drinking with as well as kissing! I can’t wait to spend Thanksgiving with all three of you, wish you could bring Alice, Sam & Olive too.

    Yes that cabbage does have a face, and a heck of an ear piercing!

    xo to you Burb, Mom

    PS….love the backside of Bug in those pink cords and YOUR hat! :0)

  6. mrs chux says:

    well, i am very sorry that your tomatoes were sorry. BUT it does make me feel better about my sorry ‘maters this summer. wtf? it was definitely an off-beat year for will and i this summer too.
    xoox, lisa

  7. Judybusy says:

    Hi–complete stranger here writing from MN. I’ve been following your blog all summer and love it!

    Why is it we gardeners tend to look at where we’ve failed instead of what we’ve accomplished? To try to make you feel better, I have NEVER canned in my life, despite growing up on a farm with a mom who did it all. So, all of your efforts are truly impressive! How many women with a toddler, a job, husband, dog, etc, etc, are canning these days?!

  8. FinnyKnits says:

    But your beets look SO good!

    Mine were lame. 1.5 beets from a whole packet sown twice. LAME.

    The best season is always the season to come, no?


  9. Renee says:

    A garden is never so good as it will be next year
    –Thomas Cooper

    I am already onto planning next year :)

  10. finny and renee, you are right. Next year is always better. I can’t wait.

    judybusy, so true. Women do this with everything. It is lame and I will try to stop. Thanks!

    lisa, It always makes me feel better when I am not the only one. But, really, sorry tomatoes are the worst.

    ma, so cool you found and orchard in MN. You are my canning hero.

    Patia, I can’t believe I didn’t see that face! You are so right on. I love his snarly teeth.

    susy, the weck jars look amazing. are they spendy?

    missoulachick, look at us. Two chicks in Missoula in agreement about lame lids.

    sarah, I have a feeling you would be a fabulous gardener.

  11. Malissa says:

    I do not know you but I really like your blog. I am Clancy’s niece in law from Idaho. I am an avid gardener so I love reading about your garden adventures and enjoy the gardening links. I have deduced you must be Neysa’s sister? I have always wanted chickens…probably not happening though. I do not think my boy would go for it. Anyways, nice blogging! :), Malissa.

  12. Okay, I’m so glad to see this post… because I somehow missed the one with the green tomato relish. (Well, I know how–work was sucking my soul AND my time that week.) Anyway, I have a shload of green tomatoes that I just picked off of the vines before the freeze this week, and was wondering how many times I could sucker people into eating fried green tomatoes in the next few days. Now I don’t have to! lol.

  13. Hi there, just wanted to tell you, I enjoyed this post. It was funny. Keep on posting!