Normally the fuschias would be sleeping in our greenhouse or solarium by now, but this year they’re still outside, partying on. It’s because we’ve had an unusually warm fall so far: I don’t think our night time temperatures have yet dipped below 10 degrees (50 Fahrenheit).
As a result there’s been a battle raging in the garden, between the summer veggies – who just won’t let go – and the fall veggies, who are desperate to win my attention.
Every time I go into the garden to pick our dinner, I’m torn between using the summer crops while they’re still producing, or letting them go for compost and moving on to the new.
I seem to hear loud shouts from every direction:
“We may be teeny, but nothing tops zucchini!” say the summer squash.
“Tomatoes unite! We’re determined to keep on growing even if we have to form a coalition to do so!” say the sauce tomatoes.
“Let Us! Let Us! Let us be your dinner instead,” cry the fall lettuces, who believe we need more salad in our diet.
“I admit my heads are small these days – but I’m still delicious and nutritious!” pleads the broccoli, who’s been feeding us for the past five months.
“Pick ME! Pick ME!” shout the mustard and mizuna, who have lost their patience and believe it’s long past time for a stir-fry.
Meanwhile the turnips, cry out, “Our Turn! Our Turn!”
While the beets say matter-of-factly, “Forget all those fancy veg – you simply can’t beat beets!”
So far “summer” has tended to win out – probably because of that other, more constant voice in my head (my mother, saying “Waste not, want not”). But I’m feeling more and more pressure from those great looking fall crops that to date, I’ve barely touched. Perhaps it is indeed time for a stir-fry and some roast beets.