The Summer garden has reached the point where things have mostly been harvested and plants are getting the crispy-and-brown-around-the-edges look. The black cherry trees have begun to show yellow spotted leaves and the pastures are rank with bahia grass gone to seed.
Even in the very hot, humid weather these days I have felt a cool, dry breeze blow by that reminds me that the light is waning and Autumn will be here.
It was time to harvest the pumpkins last week. We got a Potimarron (little orange one), a Burgess Buttercup (dark green, second from left in top row), a small Strawberry Crown, but mostly we got pumpkins from a volunteer pumpkin vine. They are some sort of blue pumpkin, and they are very sweet-flavored. I am wondering if it is a Triamble-Australian Butter Pumpkin cross, or perhaps a Strawberry Crown-Burgess cross? I planted so many different kinds last year, we will never know.
The next day, Mirin and Rose came out. I had saved the largest pumpkins for them to pick, and they ran excitedly through the rows of fading sweet corn to pull them out.
Clothilde also thought the pumpkins were amusing. She loves to climb.
I love Cinderella pumpkins (or were these Rouge Vif D'etamps?), and my only Amish Pie pumpkin we got this year. The vine is still setting more fruit, but I'm afraid the stem borer moths will likely get them before we do.
I can't wait until cooler weather makes baking pies a joy! We always read Carl Sandburg's The Huckabuck Family: And How They Raised Popcorn in Nebraska and Quit and Came Back before we open a pumpkin for pie.
A few other things we pulled out:
The last of the sweet corn, cow peas, long beans; a huge, hidden cucumber, eggplant, a massive marrow we had missed, some okra, a few yellow squash, some ailing tomatoes and Tulsi, or Holy Basil for tea. We are finding it very refreshing during these very hot late summer days.
The cassava and sweet potatoes are still going, along with the okra and cow peas, but we are turning more and more to our lacto-fermented pickles for our vegetables these days.
I am looking at meal planning again. During peak gardening season, the meals plan themselves! This week I have been trying to be very creative with different forms of squash, corn and beans. I feel like this year I have really started to understand how to cook from a garden rather than the store. It is such a different thing to do.
The winter garden starts will be planted next week (I am attempting to plant by the moon, to see if it does anything special like they say). I am still busy building beds and obtaining moldy hay, cardboard and horse manure. Soon it will be time to dig up the sweet potatoes and cassava, pick Roselle and put the Summer garden to bed.