It is time for this year's garden to be put to rest. Last night I brought in the last of the peppers, green beans, and tomatoes, as a hard frost was on its way and the cold temps will stay throughout the weekend. Most of the peppers and tomatoes that were left were green, but they'll still be used in one way or another to feed us, or at least feed the chickens.
Overall, it was a good garden year. It was not nearly as plentiful as I had hoped, but I had underestimated the joy that the chickens would take in all of the vegetables I planted. So, for our first year of tying to garden and raise chickens at the same time, I think we faired rather well. Our peppers, were by far our most productive crop. We had so many wonderful green peppers, small red, orange, and yellow sweet peppers, and more jalapeños than we knew what to do with! Next year I will definitely plant the same types again. Our green beans were also a great success! I see many more beans in our garden future. The tomatoes were good, not great, but good. I have some plans for tweaking my heirloom order for the spring to make it better accommodate our needs. I think I'm realizing that while I live on a little lot in the city, the farmer's market will always be my friend. Realizing that, I may focus less on trying to grow enough to preserve (like tomatoes and cucumbers--the later failed again this year), and focus more on things to eat throughout the summer and fall.
My herb bed also faired rather well this year and I'm really looking forward to watching it fill out next summer. I have a feeling that I'll have mint and oregano coming out of my ears, but that's a problem that I'll gladly accept (at least in theory!)
This weekend the garden will get a final cleanup, but it will also get a few plantings for spring. I'm planning to tuck a few garlic cloves into a corner of my plot for the winter as well as a few more tulips. Fall bulb planting is probably my favorite type of planting. Having bulbs to look forward to makes the early signs of spring so much more enjoyable! And, honestly, I like thinking about them as they wait out the long winter beneath the frozen dirt and mounds of snow. It's all kind of amazing to think about.
Well, farewell, sweet garden. Sleep tight under your blanket of leaves and snow. Rest and refuel, for when the long winter finally passes, we'll need you once again.