The End of Summer Garden & Flow Into Fall

October 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

As summer gives way to fall, we’re seeing signs of the change of seasons: more pumpkins and winter squash popping up at the farmers’ markets, Halloween decorations emerging and signs at the grocery and articles in food magazines about planning Thanksgiving dinners.

I’m seeing the transition in my garden too.

My cherry tomato plants, which were only thinly grasping onto life anyway, have completely given up the ghost. Although most of the plants had turned brown and dry, there were still a couple of green leaves at the tips, so I left them in their pots for a couple of weeks. But finally, the sight was too sad to behold so I chopped them for the compost bin…


The valiant tomatoes at the end of their lives


…after harvesting the last six sad little tomatoes.


The last cherry tomato "harvest"


All of the remaining arugula bolted, sending out delicate four-petaled flowers before finally succumbing to the ravenous appetites of cabbageworm caterpillars. These creatures can consume an entire plant in no time…


The voracious appetite -- and leavings -- of the caterpillar


…and unfortunately, leave a plethora of little green pellets in their wake. (If you’re dying to know more about caterpillar digestive systems, click here.) Needless to say, that got chopped and thrown into the compost bin as well!

Finally, our backyard looks less like a garden and more like an ancient ruin…


S.F. backyard or ancient ruins?


…but in a few weeks’ time, the trenches should be transformed into new retaining walls holding two big planting beds for a new crop of organic vegetables and fruits. I can’t wait to plant some new edibles in November to eat in the winter and early spring!

I’m experiencing a transition of sorts as well. I’m off to Italy today — meandering through Tuscany and walking through Pompei — and hope I’ll have consistent enough internet access to share with you the great food and wine I’m sure we’ll encounter there. Ciao and have a great weekend!


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