Summer garden wind-down

Sunflower

The summer of 2008 will not be known for its garden. With well over one hundred plants, including upwards of thirty heirloom tomato plants, we eat summer squash only sporadically. We do have an abundance of tomatoes, but we will not end up with quarts of sauce or gallons of jars of dried tomatoes even with thirty plants.

It was a strange, lean summer. Spring lasted longer than expected and our plants sat in the garden, uninspired, through most of June. The plants looked great for the wedding here in August, but guests certainly would have been surprised to hear that our biggest crop was purslane and we didn’t even plant it. (We nominate purslane, by the way, as the crop of the future climate Apocalyse.) The nectarines and apples did not disappoint but it sure is hard for fruit to make up for the absence of a fine yellow crook neck squash. For those who just started gardening with Victory Gardens and who had a similar experience: this isn’t normal.

As a final “goodbye” to the season’s crops, I’ve invited a new friend over for a feast of bruschetta on fine sourdough bread and red wine. We will sit on the back deck, eat our bruschetta, and watch the sun set. I will lament the summer garden and doubly lament that I should not lament with red wine until this baby arrives.

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