Endings and Beginnings

The last of the summer gardens has now been put to bed.  Some of the cherry tomatoes held on valiantly until the bitter end, but eventually Jack Frost reduced them to a tangled clump of dead and dying vines. So now we enter that portion of the year which, for all its joys and pleasures, is sadly tomatoless.


The best of our cherry tomatoes this year were all volunteers that I plucked up out of the asparagus garden (having presumably emerged from seeds in the compost) and transplanted into our late tomato garden.  They fed us, and many other people, very well.


After unwinding the twine we’d used in our Florida weave, and after jacking up all the t-posts, I bushhogged the vines, then tilled them in.

Along with the tomato remains, I tilled in a snake’s skin, shed voluntarily,…


…and a terrapin’s shell, from which he appears to have been removed against his will.


I broadcast winter rye over the newly-tilled garden, but I don’t know if it will germinate now.  If not, maybe I’ll have a chance to put in a quick spring cover crop next year.


Either way, in a little over five months I’ll be planting squash and cucumbers there and looking forward to the return of summer vegetable goodness.


16 comments on “Endings and Beginnings

  1. Beth Bauman says:

    Bill, I love reading your posts and experiencing vicariously the rhythm of the seasons on the farm. It makes me more appreciative of the beauty all around me and the food I eat. I’m thankful there are people like you and Cherie who are lovingly caring for your corner of God’s creation. I am heartened when you share that the movement is growing. Hope to see you both soon. Beth

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment and kind words Beth. I enjoy blogging so I’d probably keep doing it even if no one was reading the posts. But it’s encouraging to know that there are people who appreciate my ramblings. 🙂


  2. ain"t for city gals says:

    and so it goes….the seasons of life. Ditto what Beth said…


  3. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, I’ve been sharping up my pencil to start adding to the Winter project list. There are many and most won’t get completed. The biggest one is to continue to work on the basement. More sorting through 30 years of storage and determining what is give away, throw away, or keep takes time. My seed starting area could use some expansion. The food storage area could use more shelves. And last the dreaded wall paper in the bathroom needs to be removed and the walls painted. I’ve been told that the yellow paper with green palm trees are so …. well …. 1960s. At least I don’t have far to go to work on Winter projects. I’m finding things that I never knew I had. Now what to do with them is the question.

    The garden here has been long frozen and even the ground is frozen. We did get a couple days of warmer weather with the temperature getting up into the 50s but by Monday back down in the lower 30s for the highs. I’m ready to start major planning for next years gardening. That start is right in the seed starting area in February.

    Have a great fall garden cleanup day.


    • Bill says:

      Here it’s been freezing at night and thawing in the day. We can still do some things outside and I have wood to cut nearly every day. But there isn’t any urgency about outside work these days. It’s dark by 5:30 so the days end early too. Soon I’ll be breaking out the seed catalogs and dreaming of next year’s gardens.


  4. C.C. says:

    Thanks!! Neat post. We, too, had bumper crops of yellow pear and cherry and baby plum tomatoes – some still hanging in the laundry room green. The evidence of wildlife is proof of the balance of your place.


    • Bill says:

      It was a good year for tomatoes here. I’m already looking forward to the first tomato of 2015.

      Good point about the wildlife in the gardens. The insects attract toads and the toads attract snakes. The tomatoes attract the terrapins. One afternoon this summer I was picking beans when I came upon a snake trying to swallow a frog. The surprise encounter startled all of us, but was a fortuitous event for the frog, who managed to escape during the confusion.


  5. Buffy says:

    It is sad to be tomatoless! I have a few green ones I gathered that are slowly ripening! Now to poor over the seed catalogs to start planning for the Spring!


  6. C.C. says:

    question for you — when you broadcast rye, are you covering it with soil, too?


  7. We too, have gathered the last of our tomatoes, Bill. And I am already missing their ever so sweet taste. But pumpkin pie awaits. There is joy. –Curt


  8. Wonderful post and thanks for sharing your experience!


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