Travel companions.

We’re looking at dates now. Perhaps we leave in a month. Perhaps longer. In all the planning there is, planning which plants to try and bring, which to give away, and who, if anyone, is eager to garden-sit… is quite overwhelming.

The three blackberries will go to a friend. The potted plum to my in-laws. Perhaps they’d like the blueberries, too.

Do you think this giant chard would mind two weeks in damp newspapers if I gave it a severe haircut first?

Napoleon will come with us. He first made the voyage here with us seventeen years ago as a little 1” specimen.

I’m tempted to harvest tomatoes green and wrap them in paper. A book I’ve just received discusses the method as a winter storage option. Surely it’s possible for any green tomatoes you might need to pick early.

The onions started falling over, so I’m starting their curing in batches. Trying this, learning that, one group of toppled tops at a time.

And then there are the carrots to pickle and the cucumbers to… pickle. Perhaps some dry beans will dry in time.

But I believe these are the last of my seeds I’ll sow for awhile. And I’ll never eat the sweet potatoes, okra, or melon on their way. I hope the popcorn finish as we’re ready to pack them in, and that the sweet corn make a delicious farewell feast appearance.

I’ll not count the gardens I’ve started and said goodbye to. I’ll remember this one as the best yet and the breeding ground for making home-farm dreams seem achievable. And I’ll miss it dearly, idyllically, forgetting the summer’s blasting heat coming and the bare earth during planting’s “winter” in the dead of July and August.

Where? When?

I was intent on sowing the next crop between the leeks. Black-eyed peas, specifically, since I’m not allowed any more tomatoes (which I still don’t like… I know…) and don’t have access to any more peppers (which are either too hot for me, but grow well for me, or I love to eat, but can’t seem to get a good crop off of…) and it’s not *quite* sweet potato time. Well, and I’d have to dig up the leeks to sow those.

But I can’t actually see the ground between these lovelies. I can if I squat. I can if I really try. But then I figure I’d disturb the little bean roots (or are they technically peas?) when I do start pulling leeks. So… the first sowing went between the onion rows instead.

I do have to wait for these to fall over, right? Are we talking days still? Or weeks yet?

And curing them is a day in the shade or the sunshine before a week in the garage? I’ll need to recheck.

It’s… Wednesday, right?

Glut

Tis the season…

We’ve long since lost track of the harvest. Pounds and pounds every few days. To snack, in curries, in tacos, to family, cabreses, to work, to friends, to the birds. Still they march on, and no one complains.

Guatemalan blue banana squash is new for me this year. It’s getting cozy with the volunteer sunflowers.

As one of the varieties of cow peas (with orange blossoms!) gets cozy with the volunteer amaranth.

Last week, this bean was cozy with the hose. After a week away on vacay, I’d say they’re more than cozy.

Tomorrow, I hope for uninterrupted TV time – a rarity in my home. (Go USA!) But I have plans for the long commercial break at half time…

An untended matter still matters.

I struggle to get over there like I mean to.

But I have to change my shoes… and remember what to bring… and convince myself to put on “somscream.”

Then a trip across the state (don’t laugh, it’s a big state) and it’s been ages.

The squash didn’t mind.

I keep telling myself to refresh my tomato pruning knowledge and actually prune them this year. (I likely won’t.)

Just like I ignored the row spacing instructions suggestions for the cowpeas.

Again, the weeds grew just as, if not more voraciously. I am not accustomed to this. It makes me miss my carefully-crafted, cautiously-curated, mostly weed-free gardens of yore.

Yet I remind myself to be grateful for the bountiful fruitful glorious loam that is this soil. The decades of organic gardening, tending, and watering – even if the Bermuda and torpedo and other such abhorrent invaders have yet to be kept at bay.

Anyone know the name of this invader?

A study in black-eyed peas

Apparently I can choose when to pick these? Apparently, it’s up to me.

The green are a little under for my picking tastes. Too much webbing. Too little food for the effort lacking strings.

The tinged are trying. Almost there. String but not strongly so.

The robust red. The insistent burgundy. The no-confusing-you. Those are the ones, I think. Those are the beauts.

At least, until we cook them and study once more.