Falling For Fall

Once again, I am falling for fall as it has arrived with its cooler temperatures, softer light and promises of a new season in the gardens.  The animals at Elm Street Gardens celebrate the new season with increased appetites; the cats are cuddlier and demanding of more lap time and Rives, the ever active poodle, can play “fetch” for quite a while without getting so hot he has to jump in the pond to cool off.    

And then, there is my dear husband, Robert, who had a rough time with school in his childhood and teen years and says that the onset of fall always filled him with a feeling of dread, knowing that the days of “torture” were beginning.  While I embrace the start of this particular season as I didn’t mind school and looked forward to the celebration of my October birthday, Robert has the opposite reaction.  Although he does not have to suffer through another year of school anymore, now he has to suffer the chill of winter.  But this fall even he seems to be more complacent with the change of seasons and I can’t help but think this change in attitude may have something to do with knowing the delights and changes of the fall garden season are at hand.  After all, fall brings collards and turnip greens to his plate.

And the fall garden is coming on by leaps and bounds.  Our quietly capable farm manager, Jim, has the fall plantings well in hand.  There is already lettuce and our spicy salad mix is being harvested too.  There are cabbages, beets, kale, chard, collards, turnips and plenty of carrots in the garden beds.  And then there is the broccoli:  It looks as if it is going to be a good season for broccoli.  Yum!

Meanwhile, sweet potato harvest and curing is going on (unfortunately winter squash mostly met an evil fate this summer with all the rain) and the herbs that survived the wet summer are still going strong.  Basil is still good but the rosemary did not like the rain and our lovely Greek oregano, which had been in the garden since 2004, just totally expired.  But there are still a few tomatoes coming in and lots of okra, hot peppers and eggplant.  So we are at that nice point in the year when the fruits of two seasons are overlapping.  You can't have it all, but we still can have aplenty at this time of year.

Suzy

 

Here are some of summer's remains:  Figs, basil and plenty of glorious colorful zinnias.  

Here are some of summer's remains:  Figs, basil and plenty of glorious colorful zinnias.  

New rows for lettuces, some just seeded and some already producing.  

New rows for lettuces, some just seeded and some already producing.  

Pretty colorful rainbow chard was obviously enjoyed by some bug in its early tender stages as it nibbled the end of a leaf.  

Pretty colorful rainbow chard was obviously enjoyed by some bug in its early tender stages as it nibbled the end of a leaf.  

The oldest variety of kale, lacinto or Tuscan, also known as dinosaur kale, is a healthy dark green.   

The oldest variety of kale, lacinto or Tuscan, also known as dinosaur kale, is a healthy dark green.   

And, of course, we have plenty of lettuce coming along - plenty of salads in store to be served along with the first of cold weather soups.  

And, of course, we have plenty of lettuce coming along - plenty of salads in store to be served along with the first of cold weather soups.  

15 Elm Street, Sparta, GA