November, a month of truly winding down. I feel it all over: the days are shorter and colder and there is not nearly as much to do in the garden! Or time to do it during these short days, unless you’re into headlamp gardening. The light frost last month forced us to dig sweet potatoes, but it wasn’t until last week that I had to pull the remaining tomatoes, peppers, basil, marigolds, and nasturtiums. You can wrap green tomatoes in paper and they will continue to ripen. Or you can make green tomato relish or fry ’em up. I used a bunch of my jalapenos for bacon (from Berea college) wrapped jalapeno poppers for a gathering last weekend. The peppers were practically sweet! and oh so delicious. The rest will be used in jalapeno jelly for holiday prezzies and everyday enjoyment.
These Garden Walker ceramic sculptures had become completely overtaken by volunteer cherry tomato plants. With the hard frost last weekend they were revealed once again, draped in dead plant matter.
Though it is slowing down in the garden, is it ever really over? There is garden cleanup going on right now and leaf collection for compost and/or lasagna gardening. Some crops like lettuce, poc choi, arugula and swiss chard are tucked in safe and sweet under agribon low tunnels while others like the turnips, spinach, beets, and cole crops are able to brave the cold head on (for a little while longer at least). And when you really think there is nothing left to do in the garden, it is probably time to get out those seed catalogues and your favorite garden planning tool (pencil and graph paper or some online source) and start brainstorming for next season.
We are proud to announce that Wolfe County Grow Appalachia will be returning for the 2017 growing season! Looking forward to returning families and new ones. What fun this year has been making this program go ’round. We look forward to our community coming together again next year to learn about and grow their own food.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”