Someone once said the difference between gardening and agriculture is that in agriculture, you have to make a profit.
My grandparents were in agriculture. I am a gardener.
For gardeners, life sometimes gets in the way of that bushel basket of beautiful fresh-grown food.
Indeed, that’s how it’s been around here the past two weeks, as I’ve struggled to keep on top of a 750-student piano, voice and music festival I ran for my music teachers’ group. Watching the garden and getting it ready for fall were the least of my concerns.
But now the festival is over (it went well, in case you’re curious) and there’s time to look around. Mike took up most of the slack, digging the sweet potatoes and tearing up the squash vines. I had just enough time to get the last green tomatoes and peppers out before the first expected frost.
It was 32 when we woke up this morning. Time for the garden to enter the sleepy phase.
I say sleepy because there’s still quite a lot happening. Tomatoes and basil are done, judging by how the leaves looked this morning. But the brave little kale that has been struggling against bugs and dry weather can outlast a mild frost. There still may be hope for baked kale chips yet. And of course it will be planting time in a couple of weeks for garlic, which stays in the ground all winter.
In the next couple of weeks, we’ll tear out the old plants, tomato stakes and cages. We’ll get some aged manure and work it into the ground and we’ll plant the garlic. And then we’ll tear out the rabbit fence and that will be it. The garden will be at rest, and we’ll retire to our books and catalogs and dream of a better year in 2012.
In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the last growing season days:
And lastly, a reader wrote in recently with a question about Listeria and cantaloupes. She wanted to know whether it’s safe to compost cantaloupe rinds.
We weren’t able to find a really good answer to this. If your compost pile is in the sun and you check with a thermometer that the core gets to 140 degrees F, that is enough to kill most of the diseases and viruses, but we did not find any specific advice on Listeria.
However, many people (like us) have compost piles that don’t get enough sun to reach that temperature. If that’s your compost pile, I’d keep cantaloupe rinds out of there, at least for the time being.
Anyone else out there have some expertise on this?
Posted by: Roxie