Sunday, August 7, 2011

Garden Glory

Another garden season is coming to an end.  Sniff...Sniff...  I walked today what will probably be my last walk to the garden until next May.  The extreme heat has really taken a toll on the plants.  The tomato plants are drying out, but still producing tomatoes.  Our cukes are done and all that is left on the vines are ridiculously overgrown fruits that have yellowed.  We lost most of our corn to raccoons, and the stalks have been cut and fed to the cattle.  The once deep purple fruit of our eggplants have all but disappeared and a few small bell peppers are hanging on by the "seed of their plants".  Bright yellow squash blossoms are a distant memory.  And our hopes for potatoes were never realized.  Our compost pile will wait to be turned another day.

The end of the garden season for me is always bittersweet.  I'll miss the early Saturday mornings with my Tom working the soil, watering emerging seedlings, and sharing the excitement of seeing the first fruits of our efforts.  No longer will our evenings be spent sharing the canning duties.  I'm so lucky to have a husband who enjoys canning as much as I do.  He fires up the turkey fryer outside and sterilizes the jars as I blanch, peel and cut veggies for packing.  We then sit on the porch in our side by side rockers and enjoy a cool glass of lemonade as we listen for the "tink" of lids sealing on jars.

Despite the sweaty Saturday mornings, aching lower backs from picking, itchy bug bites and dirty garden feet, it's soooo worth it!  So for now, I'll savor my last weeks of whatever my precious garden has left to yield.  I'll eat as many of my favorite....bologna, tomato and cheese sandwiches on fresh white bread...YUM!  And then we'll move on to the freshest marinara, stews and chili for the fall and winter months.  And best of all, no preservatives and as organic as it gets!  

For now, I'll look forward to the cooler months of fall.  "There's a change a com'in I tell ya" and her name is FALL.  As I say goodbye to the dog days of summer, I stand with welcoming arms to the blessings of the trees.  When we are privileged to have a front row seat to the changing colors of the season. 

I'll leave you with the words to a song that I heard on the radio when I was in high school.  It pretty much describes my love affair with tomatoes...

Home grown tomatoes, home grown tomatoes
Where would I be without home grown tomatoes?
There's only two things that money can't buy
And that's true love and home grown tomatoes!