I feel a bit like the poor okra standing in the garden, leaves crumpled and black with flower buds still bravely trying to open, despite the frosty evenings we've had this week. It was so glorious this summer, tall and strong and massively productive, but as the days got shorter and the weather got colder, the poor okra started to wither and fade. What is it about the lack of daylight, the leaves falling lazily from the trees, and the crisp fall air that makes me want to hang my head and cry? With that first frost, a little part of me died, right along with the okra and basil.
Thanks to some quickly constructed low tunnel hoop houses, my Swiss chard and lettuce should continue on through mid-winter, although this is my first year to try extending the season, and I'm not sure at all what I am doing. I am pretty sure, however, that that's the only thing keeping me from completely collapsing under the weight of the impending winter. That, and the gardening books and seed catalogs that I have already started devouring in earnest. I only need to make it to February, when I can start seedlings in my basement, and then to March, when I can plant cold weather crops under my tunnels. Until then, time will be spent adding layers of yard trimmings to my lasagna garden, building a salad box, sewing new gardening aprons and harvest baskets, and dreaming, scheming, and planning for another abundant gardening season in 2011. R.I.P. tender plants, I did love you so.