September 10, 2012

The Seasons They Are a-Changin'

First of all, where did the first week of September go?? I guess it got gobbled up by the blur of end-of-summer and start-of-school time, not to mention dealing with the transition from a summer to fall edible garden. Having kids and being teachers ourselves, this is always a busy time of year, both in the garden and in the home.

Developing white mini pumpkin

Mr. English went back to work a few weeks ago already (Vacaville schools start even earlier than Davis), the kids are getting to know their new teachers and classmates, and I'm spending most days outside. Many of the vegetables are in peak production now, causing a mad rush of food preparation and preservation. But it's also a time of transition for the plants. They're getting used to shortening days and cooler nights, in addition to slightly cooler daytime temps. Meanwhile, I'm getting used to the return of homework and the flurry of activity that comes with Back to School--music lessons, dance rehearsals and performances, art classes, Sunday School, etc. Seems as if family activities are ramping up just as the garden is about to wind down.

Of course, that's by design. Agriculture is the reason why kids have historically had long breaks from school, at least in rural areas. Traditionally, kids were available on the family farm during critical planting and harvesting times, and returned to their studies once things quieted down on the farm. Society is not on ag time anymore, at least not in suburban Davis, so our kids go back to school right in the middle of peak harvest and garden work time. That's a bummer for us mini-farmers, who could still really use their help.

Basil waiting to be picked and turned into freezer pesto

September in the garden finds me seeding a host of fall & winter crops (beets, carrots, kale, chard, lettuce, bok choy, spinach), ordering garlic, preparing space for peas and onions, building compost piles all over the place, pulling spent crops and improving the soil in the raised beds, planting cover crops to increase organic matter, and protecting young cabbage and broccoli plants from cabbage butterflies. Whew--no wonder the first week of September went by so quickly! And that's to say nothing of prepping and preserving all the zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, beans, and peppers that are filling the harvest baskets daily.

The weather is beautiful and it's a good time to be out and about on the homestead, so I'm not complaining, but it will be nice to have a bit of a break when fall officially arrives later this month and the rush of the harvest is over. Meanwhile, I'm headed back into the kitchen to make some pesto!

1 comment:

  1. Pesto?? Yum. Any chance you might have a pesto recipe without cheese? I have the basil.