Each and every year, Autumn hits me with a sigh of relief. I mean it's not like the growing season is anywhere near being done, but the cooler weather, the shorter days and longer shadows really slows everything down in the garden. It a time when farmers have that glimmer of hope that things will soon wrap up and come to and end...colder weather is coming.
Some crops - such as the zucchini, cucumbers and beans - have already come and gone, and as time passes, all of the tender summer crops will eventually pass the baton on to cool loving fall veggies like sweet potatoes, winter squash, brussels sprouts, parsnips, leeks, romanesco.... There are so many veggies to be excited about! So much bounty! (I say with a huge smile)
Before we get ahead of ourselves and talk about all of the veggies we'll be enjoying this fall, first comes the Great Fall Harvest. Recently, our focus has been on our Winter Squash - butternuts, delicatas, acorn, spaghetti, buttercups and pie pumpkins - clipping, crating and hauling them up to the barn. They're all now delicately curing and sweetening up. First fall crop successfully harvested! A few hiccups, a few bruises, a few head scratches but no matter cause now we're moving on to the sweet potatoes. Time is ticking... The fall may not have the bustle of the summer, but it does have a good old steady pace.
As the weather drops, different crops get harvested and stored, each having different needs: when they prefer to be harvested and how they like to be stored. It's a lot of information to hold and thank goodness we have the internet cause there are just sooo many questions to be answered! Yes, we make mistakes, and sometimes they are hard ones to learn, but then again, sometime we get to harvest and enjoy a perfect bed of sweet tasty carrots or sweet potatoes.
The garden is my wise teacher and during the cooler months of September, the garden is rich with gifts as well as hard lessons we farmers try to learn quickly so that all of the crops get harvested on time.