Kitchen Garden

End of 2017 Garden Year

Frosted Squash Plants

A garden never ends. First hard frost is forecast this week and kale will likely survive, tasting better after being kissed by cold.

If the ground dries out, I will plant next year’s crop of garlic. If it really dries out, I’ll remove stakes and fencing, mow everything down, and add to the burn pile. With the warmer fall weather these activities go later into each cycle. As Senator Joe Bolkcom pointed out yesterday, September was the fourth hottest on record with the first three being in 2014, 2015 and 2016. I scheduled time off work at the home, farm and auto supply store for gardening the first week in November.

I’ll analyze the garden results later but already know the basics: pick good seeds, rejuvenate the soil, cultivate more, and mulch, mulch and mulch. The composted chicken manure applied to some plots produced great results. Like many gardeners, I realize if the garden failed in any way it is mostly my fault for decisions made about planting, insects, cultivation and soil quality.

Because of engagement in local food production, our pantry is overflowing. Apples, potatoes, onions and garlic are plentiful. Winter shares from CSAs continue until Thanksgiving. There are abundant ingredients for cooking. It’s cooking meal to meal for the time being with big canning sessions giving way to large dishes with leftovers.

Eight days remain in the apple season after which I plan to take a weekend to consider the future. That includes health care decisions, signing up for Social Security, and getting back to reading. I may get my hair cut and take some needed personal time to recover.

I may even go into the county seat.