Today I pulled up the tomato vines and removed their wire cages. There were still green tomatoes on the vines, but I needed to get rid of the plants so we could install another of the raised beds that my husband made early in the summer.
Now five of the nine beds are in, but only three have been filled. It takes a huge amount of dirt and compost to fill a 4\’x4\’x2\’ box. We are using the dirt that was removed during the making of the patio and fish pond, and left in piles at the edge of the woods. We cannot transport it in the garden cart because we would have to lift the loaded cart over the 2\’ walls of the beds. Instead, we use a large plastic tub with a handle on each side, my husband holding one and I the other. Those tubs of dirt are terribly heavy–far worse than boxes of books–and, keeping our backs in mind, I only let us do a few tubfuls at a time. Which means that it is taking forever to fill those beds.
Meanwhile, the garden is still going great guns. Guarded by squadrons of daddy long legs, the beans are maturing so fast that by the time I get to them, many are as thick as fingers. Fortunately Wolfie and Bisou find them almost as tasty as chicken legs, so I am saved from the great sin of letting a single bean go to waste.
After the bean picking, I realized that the banana peppers think that we are still in August. I relieved the plants of all but the smallest fruit, and went into the kitchen. I filled the blanching pot with water and set it on the stove. While the water heated (which, as those of you know who have an electric stove, takes eons), I seeded and sliced the peppers and put them in the dehydrator. By the time I was done with that, the water was boiling, and I put the beans in it to blanch. Then I cooled them in ice water, put them in bags, and took them down to the freezer.
I stuffed the beans into the freezer, and then had trouble closing the door. If this Indian summer doesn\’t go away soon, we\’ll have to buy another freezer. Did I mention that the pepper plants are full of blooms, that the chard and kale are flourishing, that the bean plants are loaded with baby beans? In fact, I should probably be out there picking those little beans right now, before they get so big they\’re only good for the dogs.
I never planted a winter round of greens (my intention, but it was so durned hot this august it didn't happen), but the tomatoes, freed of their cucumber oppressors, have started to fruit! And there are a few basil stragglers, a handful of jalapenos, and the baby green shoots of next year's garlic crop. It was a good year.
Next year's garlic, wow! Maybe I'll try to plant some this fall, if I can stand the thought of even looking at the garden.
My garlic is wild, Lali. I don't do a dang thing.