Last night was our official first frost, right about at our new average (official last frost date is about October 7 here, but the last 9 years have been increasingly late). I was wholly unprepared – I forgot to check, and had meant to harvest the last batch of Tulsi. Ah well. Green tomato pickles are definitely the order of the day!
We’ll be eating out of our garden for a long time yet – with season extension, probably until late December or January, but frost is a marker of change, and it seems as good a time as any to evaluate this year’s garden.
In general, it was a banner year for anything that ordinarily finds our climate too cool and wet. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, okra, etc… loved this year. I got more red peppers than I’ve ever had, and if it weren’t for Eli spending large chunks of his days grazing the tomatoes, we would have had the best harvest ever.
It was a tough year for the stuff that ordinarily does well for me – the broccoli was eaten by goats when one of this kids left the garden gate open, the peas did ok but got a little tough in the heat. Fava beans fried, mustard greens bolted and for the first time ever, I found I couldn’t successfully grow lettuce through the whole summer. I realize that’s normal for everyone else, but not here.
The biggest negative, besides the goat-chomped broccoli, was the fall garden. We had an extended period of heat and dry weather, and it just didn’t germinate as well as usual. The other one was that I picked this year to start an agricultural business in wetland plants – on the hottest, dryest year I’ve ever seen. They did ok, but it is just a good reminder never to get complacent and assume you know how your world works.
Ok, reports from the field, folks – how did your gardens do?