It’s October and the garden is at peak performance for the year. Many of the mature plants are leafed out to the max and I think I’ll have to blanch and freeze a lot of greens to maximize my harvest. Chard is especially lush, as this flamingo verity shows off hot pink and pale pink stems, just like the long legged bird!
Squash are continuing to fruit out, and some low maintenance pruning ensures the maturity of the fleshy food by plucking late blossoms and baby fruit which will never make it to maturity before the frost. That way, all the energy goes to the growing of what’s already on the vine. In the wild, animals would brows the plant, but in the garden, we’re the stewards. In return, we receive the bounty in healthy fruit. The young squash are so delicate and delicious, it’s also a great way to enjoy as a single meal, rather than chopping into a larger fruit and having to salvage the leftover. When I find slightly rotted fruit, the chickens get a great meal too.
In my enjoyment of the garden bounty, it is amazing to see how quickly all this lush growth will disappear as winter approaches. As the wildlife around us packs down calories for the lean times, it helps to see my own kitchen larder filling for the dark winter months ahead. Gratitude to all the wonderful food, the methods of preservation passed down by our ancestors, and the modern conveniences which allow us to preserve so much nutrition.