By now we're trying to invent new and interesting uses for vegetables that are growing a little old from overuse to the palette. Many garden vegetables have come to a stop, however, and we can begin some clean-up. The summer season has ended for lettuce, onions, garlic, broccoli, melons, cucumbers, corn, beans, sunflowers, and some of the annual herbs. Tomatoes are no longer coming in large quantities, but sweet and hot peppers are rejuvenating after the hottest part of summer and will bear again in September. Zucchini is becoming a steady producer while we wait, and in the meantime a carrot crop sits underground if we want a change of pace. The majority of our summer harvest is gathered and preserved, so as we take a little break for the present we can look forward to next month's pumpkins and winter squash, apples, grapes, late season raspberries, root crops, and sweet potatoes.
Our goal this weekend was to till so we can begin preparing soil for fall planting. Brussels sprouts plants are being conditioned to the outdoor climate starting in a shady spot. It's time to check that compost pile and give it a turn after adding a summer's worth of imperfect vegetables, rinds, and cobs. We will soon be filling it to the brim with discarded vegetable plants. Have you ever stopped to notice how much activity there is in a garden this time of year? While pausing to wipe our brows, we saw hundreds of dragonflies, large green-brown locust, chirping black crickets, and several varieties of bees and butterflies in constant hum over our plants.