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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – October 23

After I finished GardenLine and packed up my headphones this morning, I passed the folks who were coming in to do the real estate program on WXTK. One of their guests commented that she knew that gardeners hate the fall. I’m sure she was just making friendly chitchat, but I let her know that I disagree strongly.

I love autumn. To begin with, it’s a time of harvest when we reap the benefits of summer-long work. Today we pulled beets and picked enough raspberries to boil down into jars of sauce/syrup/jelly. I equivocate because I’m not sure if I added enough apples to provide the pectin needed to jell the raspberry juice, or if I spent enough time boiling it down. We’ll enjoy the flavor of this raspberry concentrate, whether we put it in with juice/seltzer, pour it on pancakes or granola, or spread it on toast. But I digress…

The dipper gourds were ready to pick so those were pulled from the arbor today. We’ll dry them in the basement and then decide whether to make them into birdhouses, ornaments, gifts or compost. They’ve been grown purely for fun.

At the same time that we’re picking berries and pulling gourds, we’re cutting chard for soups and pasta. The broccoli is still producing as well, although the Brussels sprouts, normally a staple in the fall, didn’t form their little cabbages this year…the summer was too hot and dry I suppose.

In addition to harvesting, we’re planting for next year. We put in five types of garlic today, and are pulling in tropical such as cannas that will bring us great pleasure again next summer.

All the while, I’m looking forward to a few months of writing, reading, and research. Each season contains singular delights, and right now, there is nowhere I’d rather be than falling into my garden.

The Sheffield Pink mums are spectacular right now...

Beets for dinner and gourds for fun.

The fall raspberries are plentiful, and the wasps and bees are no longer trying to harvest them before we do.

We put in five varieties of garlic today, although I was annoyed that White Flower Farm didn't send us the German Porcelain that I ordered, but substituted Italian Late instead. Drat.

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