We wrapped up the summer garden last weekend. Mentally, we checked out of it a few weeks ago, completely exhausted from canning and drying and pickling and cooking. Gardening and canning is exhausting work though we both really enjoy it (don’t ask us now, ask us in February) and it gives us a lot of time to work together towards a common goal, chat about the day or the future or our dreams. It provides us with fantastic nutrition and exercise. We have no fear of a vitamin D deficiency in the summer sun. It’s just the right thing for us to do.
It is equally good to put the summer garden to rest though. We get to take a break and enjoy a bit of the work that we’ve done.
I don’t suppose to have any real idea of our ancestors who really survived on the land, but I think I feel a small bit of the relief of having food put up, of the rest of fall and winter, and the simple joy of seeing stuff transition from seed to seed.
Ok, enough pondering life. We gathered a bunch of cayenne and jalapeno peppers (will they ever end?!), black beans, green peppers and tomatoes (those are 6 gallon buckets in the first pic) at the close of the garden. We actually picked several crops of black beans that had dried on the vine over the course of the summer. Anyone pulling up the plants early to harvest dried beans is missing a huge second or third crop.
Anyhow, Emily spent a good part of one evening shelling the last crop of black beans. Mo, our cat loved the seed pods. He chased them all over the place. We dry the beans on a clothes drying rack covered with cotton fabric which is held in place with clothes pins. The cool thing is that the entire rack folds down almost flat and is easy to store.
It’s also a lot cheaper than some of the fancier racks and the cotton fabric can be washed unlike some of the window screen versions that some folks have made.
Anyhow, we are done with our summer garden. We are planting garlic tomorrow but that is fairly low key compared to everything else. ‘Tis good to have a break!