The growing season, with the exception of cool weather crops such as kale and collards,
is now officially over. Tomorrow the forecast high is 49, and we may get our first dusting
of snow on Wednesday.

All in all it has been a very good growing season, with peppers (sweet bananas, hot!!
bananas, and bell), squash, potatoes, and tomatillos still being harvested and preserved
for use in the coming months. Hundreds of quarts of green beans, corn, tomatoes, and
peas have been canned or frozen to feed families over the winter.

Almost every gardener shared produce with at least two other families this year- I
received a lot of reports of “got a bushel of tomatoes and shared half” or “got 2 pecks of
radishes, shared one”. That means that at a minimum, 150 families benefitted from our
program this year, and since most are at least 2-3 person families, that’s at least 450
people. That’s a lot of people we fed.

Gardeners are already looking at the spring season as they fill out their 2023
applications and make suggestions on tools they think would be good to offer to those
we already offer. They are getting their gardens put to be bed, tilling dead plants and
fertilizer in to feed and enrich the soil for next year.

Some of our gardeners are going to try the winter gardening ideas that we talked about
at our last meeting, trying to grow herbs and tomatoes indoors, and cool weather crops
like kale that are hardy if protected by a layer of leaves on days it’s too cold. One
gardener even cut branches to make his own cold frame to cover crops with an old clear
plastic tablecloth.

Big Ugly gardeners are awesome!