End of a Season

The forecast tonight calls for 31F and a freeze warning is in effect. I spent a few hours this evening collecting all of the peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes that might possibly get ripe off the vine. A few watermelons were left, and I brought them in, too. Some of them sound like nobody’s home (knocking is how to tell if they’re ripe – if it sounds hollow, it’s good to eat, and if it sounds dull, nobody’s home and they’re not ripe), but perhaps they’ll come around. I committed basilcide, lopping all the plants off at the base. Tomorrow I make pesto from all those leaves. I told the fairy winter squash to stay safe in the cold and that I’ll come get them tomorrow. The loofah… oh, the loofah. I didn’t pick them, and I shall see what happens in the morning. They’re so large and gorgeous that I’d hate to lose them, but they’re no good if they’re not ripe anyway.

In the spring we learned that a frost warning means business. Now that fall is here, I’m trying to remember which plants can take the bite and which can’t. I can’t cover the whole field. In fact, I didn’t cover any of it. I believe the brassicas will be okay. All that kale and the cabbages and brussels sprouts who are just coming into their own. Beans are done, so I don’t have to worry about them. Corn has long been ghostly whispering dry stalks, causing no worry. Summer squashes are gone. I stroked and thanked the tomato and eggplant and pepper leaves for the glorious season they’ve given me, with smoke tendrils of bittersweetness at the end of the season.

Photos tomorrow if the frost is still out when I’m up and at ’em.

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