The Fall Garden

If you live in a temperate zone, you can put in a fall garden when August rolls around and enjoy fresh produce (albeit a somewhat limited variety) well into winter.

| August/September 1994

By late summer, all our work has finally paid off. The baby pumpkins twine around the corn, and soon another season of the garden will come to a close, as we harvest our major bounty of corn, tomatoes, and strawberries, and then kick back all winter. When the first frost hits, we'll have less to do than kids in a small town. Our garden will be bare but well mulched or cover cropped against the return of spring in 1995. Until then, we may put the arduous task of gardening completely out of our minds.

"Oh, we're not done yet," Joy says, ruthlessly thinning some vegetable.


"No, not by a long shot. What about the fall garden?"

Again, what? I have a question: "Won't we be a tad busy at harvest time to put in any more corn and tomatoes?" Joy gives her head a fast shake, as if to dislodge something in her ear. "Wow. Climb out of that hammock and turn off your notebook, honey. We've got to talk. You're in the wrong hardiness zone to be thinking that way. Let's do a little late-season dance around here." Dumbly and mutely, I follow her into the house, to review a diagram that she's been working on. I thought it was the plan for next year. It wasn't that at all.

"See, here's where we'll put the kale, the radishes go here, the beets down here, eventually garlic here, the Chinese cabbages over in this corner..."Her finger points, and her eyes gleam insanely.

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