The Last Days of Summer

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C-43 B.C.)

We are in the final phase of the summer garden here on Orchard Street. It has been a fantastic year. Though I fell short on some goals, such as my intention to take part in a cooperative garden, I was able to accomplish some really wonderful things this year. My daughter, Sophia, continues to amaze me with her curiosity in the garden, especially the herb garden, and I am really proud of how much she grew as a gardener and a little person this year. Her brother, Liam who is two, really caught the fever this year and was eager to dig in the dirt whenever possible, if the truth be told he probably spent more time in the garden than I did! This was also the first time since we have moved into our home that my wife, Meghann, was able to dig around in her herb garden and it looks beautiful! I can’t wait to see what she adds to it in 2011.

We have rounded out the year by harvesting the orange and purple carrots in the garden and collecting the last of the bush bean seeds. The sunflowers are close to be being ready as well. The bees have been frantically working on the giant yellow heads, their legs heavy with pollen, as they make one last push before fall sets in. There were a lot of vegetables that we did not mention in the blog this year. We harvested red onions, lemon cucumbers and have some Brussels waiting in the garden for us as well. We lost some tomatoes to a late blight and our eggplants and romanesco broccoli never really took off. There were as many failures as there were success stories and both provided ample opportunity for on the job learning.

I think one of our short term goals is going to be building a few small cold frames from some left over green house glass that I have. One of my friends, who also had a really impressive growing season, had mentioned using some of the glass for that exact purpose and that got my wheels turning. It just seems like the logical next step to take on this journey.

One of our long term goals, starting next spring, is to expand our garden and maybe attempt to start a small seed bank. We also plan on doing a lot of research on companion gardening and using our environments natural allies to help promote growth while at the same time returning the favor to our neighbors in the plant and animal world.

I will continue to post throughout the fall and winter. There are still so many things to talk about! Book and movie reviews, techniques for the family gardener and of course Meghann may actually write an article or two herself!


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