I said farewell to most of my garden this past weekend. We still haven't had a hard frost in Minneapolis (however, tonight could be the night!), but the tomatoes and peppers had reached a point of making very little progress in growing and ripening. Also, as it's already mid-October, I've been feeling a strong urge to wrap up the outside work and prepare the house for the long winter months ahead. So, away went the tomatoes, peppers, tomatillo, and eggplant. Some carrots still remain and the beans will stay until the vines die back from the frost. The basil was covered last night and will be turned into pesto and some will be hung up to dry this evening.
Before pulling out the tomatillo and tomatoes, my sister-in-law helped me gather all of the fruit that was still covering the vines. We gathered another 2.5 lbs of tomatillos and a large bowl of tomatoes. Sunday was then spent in the kitchen busily canning another couple jars of salsa verde and 8 pints of pickled green tomatoes. I'm was excited to put all of those green tomatoes to use! Hopefully the pickles will be a great winter treat!
While it may seem like the garden is done for the season, there is still quite a bit more to do. I'd love to cut back my herbs for another round of drying and there's a fresh batch of compost waiting to be dumped into garden to prepare the soil for spring. Then there is garlic to be planted! I had such a good time growing garlic this summer and so I'm going at it again and quadrupling the amount! I have 4 heads to get into the ground in the next few weeks! This year I'm planning to mark those heads so I know where to find them in the spring and so I can take notes on the different varieties I'm trying. If you are wanting to grow garlic next year, now's the time to plant! You can pick up bulbs at local garden shops, but make sure you get types that are good for your climate. What's sold in the grocery store is generally not cold-hardy enough for these harsh Minnesota winters.
After the unruliness of the summer garden, I do love the quiet, tidy, and restful fall garden bed. It's calming to prepare it for winter where it will be able to rest, recoup, and rebuild before next summer comes around...that garden bed is a bit like us, I think, needing the quiet and rest that winter brings...I must say, I'm getting ready. How about you?