Today is the final day of vegetable harvesting I declare to myself. This means I am pivoting into cleanup, clearing old vines and plants, adding manure and straw.
The line I draw is artificial and it will waver. I have picked all the sweet peppers showing any hint of red and some green ones as well—there are more greens which I could bring in, but I’ll wait as you never know, there might be more generous days of warm sunlight. One winter squash remains–not quite ready–lettuce is growing in the cold frame and those sturdy spinach plants, next to the wizened cucumber vines, will produce until hard frost hits.
Putting a garden to bed for winter isn’t inspiring in itself…as with many tasks there is a lever. It is the fall garlic planting that will lift me into the next phase. For this ritual I need to decide how to rotate the crops next spring so as to know where the garlic will be placed. Then I clear the selected spot, add manure, and let it sit for a few weeks until the special day that I carefully bury cloves into the soil and cover them with a generous layer of straw.
Once started, autumn labour is easy in cool air and soft September sun, among rich orange marigolds and burgeoning purple borage.
Bees buzz softly
another bloom on those vines
their work never done