09 October 2009

finishing the garden, part 1

As predicted, I did indeed lose a little steam on the garden as the summer has begun to draw to a close. Although, I am happy to report that my gardening journal currently goes until September 16- and I have a few entries that I'm going to add back in, so that should be a really big help next summer! I missed my window (again!) for planting for fall crops, so things are starting to dwindle here. And with forecasts of 34 degrees tonight, I think I'd better get on out there this afternoon and salvage whatever is left in my plot. I was discouraged last week when I went out to see that my one proud little eggplant had gone missing from the plant. Missing! I'm thinking some four-legged creature must have chomped its way through that. I guess all I can hope is that he/she really enjoyed that eggplant. There were also two cucumbers still on the vine, so I'm hoping the colder temps this past week haven't taken their toll too hard on those little guys.

Last week, when there were overnight frost warnings, and combined with our upcoming move in a few weeks, I decided to cut down the rest of the basil. There was just enough for one more good-sized batch of pesto (so I now have two half-pint jars in my freezer, for those of you keeping track!). While I was out there cutting the basil, I suddenly found myself cutting down the rest of the herbs. Even the ones that are pretty cold-hardy. Suddenly I had a table full of cut herbs and an empty garden. Hmm. Afterwards, I felt sort of stupid that I had done that, thinking that I really hadn't needed to do that so early on. But then I thought that these herbs wouldn't have grown much more anyways, and (again) with our move, it was probably better to just get them out of the ground and into the air for drying. And with the very small amounts of free time we're having these days, that was actually probably a really good thing to do.

So now I've got nine little bunches of herbs hanging from the light fixture in our dining room. This is the second batch that I've dried so far this season, so I already have two half-full pint jars of rosemary and thyme (one jar each). I'm sure after I pick all the leaves off what's drying right now, I might even need bigger jars for those two! I also have some peppermint, spearmint (for teas, most likely), sage, and a little bit of basil that I'm drying.

I'm working on getting some photos of my medicinal herb adventures, and then the final few harvest from the vegetable garden. I'd love to hear how your gardening adventures ended up going this summer, and how you're transitioning into fall gardening, or closing up your gardens!


  1. you are such an inspiration, julia. once again i wish we lived on the same block : )

  2. hi julia,

    we harvested our tomatillos and still have chard, brussel sprouts, carrots, and radishes in the ground. sunday they are calling for a frost so we may have to harvest the herbs we want to dry tomorrow. currently, the cilantro/coriander is drying in the wood shed and we've already dried lemon verbena and sage.

    i wish we lived closer so we could compare notes. am really interested to hear more about the medicinal herbs. we've been volunteering at an herb garden all summer and there is a medicinal herb bed there (comfrey, spilanthes, and more).

  3. i had a miserable end this year (you should actually take some pleasure in this), that started somewhere in the middle of the season. i gave up and let most of it die.

    i can't wait to see you kick some ass again next year in your house!!!

  4. I always seem to loose my gardening steam around September first. I'm envious of all those herbs!

  5. Yay! I love hearing your garden adventures. I still need to get out there and grab the last of the herbs for drying. I made a gigantic batch of pesto last week, and on Friday we harvested a whole mess of kale and spent just under 2 hours processing it. But now we have 3 bricks of blanched kale in the freezer, and I'm so proud. We've still got carrots in the ground, as well.