Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gathering Nuts for the Winter

Fall is in the air, the leaves are turning gold, umber, copper, russet and maroon, and the temperature is crisp in the mornings and evenings. We have planted our winter garden, and have been busily working on preparing the other garden beds to receive the spring planting when it is time.

The winter garden contains onions, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and potatoes. I planted the seeds in small containers, and once they were large enough, I transplanted them in the garden. A second garden bed contains only garlic. We LOVE garlic, and will have plenty to use fresh and dried.

The potatoes are an experiment. We prepared these for planting, and they have been in the ground for about two weeks now. Five of them have sprouted up their visible green plant tops. Now let them grow and multiply!

The last of the summer tomatoes are soon to be ripening on the vine, and there is one lone zucchini still racing to beat the frost. I remember the sun-drenched days of summer in my early years when I would trek the garden beds with my grandmother, eating the tomatoes off the vine after wiping them clean on my pants or shirt. We would search for those pesky tomato hornworms, and if I was lucky, we would find a few that I could observe in a glass jar for a time before they went to their doom.

There were few things I enjoyed more in childhood than tilling up the soil with my little rake and trowel, throwing in some seeds or a fledgling plant, and watching them grow and produce food that I could pluck off and eat right out in the garden. There were sunflowers, tomatoes, beans, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, red onions, green onions, and bellpeppers.

Now it is my turn to pass on the love of cultivating the earth to my daughter, so we will nurture this bean plant over the winter and put it in our garden next Spring.
This hearty little plant was planted in a plastic water cup last year. It has survived the move, and has put out one bean pod since being transplanted into a somewhat larger terracotta pot.
Nature Boy wants to be nowhere near dirt, plants, animals, or nature. He is happy to read about food in the virtual world, and await its arrival to him fully prepared on a plate.
Luckily for him, we have the love of gardening, and he will not go hungry. It is the time of year to put our Winter stores in order so that we have plenty to make warm, filling soups and stews during the cold months to come. Happy Harvest!

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