Yesterday, with the threat of frost looming, I said goodbye to my garden. I found a few decent-sized green tomatoes to wrap in newspaper for later ripening; I brought half a dozen sweet peppers in, and I pulled up some turnips that were big enough to use.
Because we haven't had much rain in the past month, the turnips didn't get as big as they should have, but the ones that are usable are sweet and good. Cliff hates turnips, so I shared them with a friend, not knowing that would make her day. I thought my mother was the only person ever to get that excited about turnips.
I pulled up the last of the green bean plants and picked the usable beans off the vines.
It was a bad year for tomatoes and potatoes, and yet the garden has kept us supplied with all we needed or wanted in the way of vegetables, ever since sometime in July. A neighbor informed me that nobody around here had a good potato crop this year, which made me feel somewhat better about the situation. We don't have good storage facilities for them anyhow; it's just that it's more fun to harvest and peel big potatoes than small, goose-egg-sized ones. I'll be using my last few of them today, so I need to add potatoes to my grocery list. Of course, it's just me and Cliff, so we don't use a lot of them.
Never before have I had such an emotional attachment to a garden as I have this year. I'd wake up in the morning wishing daylight would come so I could go outside and see what had transpired overnight: new blooms, seeds germinating and popping out of the ground, something new to harvest. Oh, and for the first time ever, I managed to keep a zucchini plant alive until fall; little victories like that are hard to find out in the big, cruel world, but I found them daily in the garden. So yesterday, knowing the season is over, I was sad; it was like saying goodbye to a dear friend.
And the Lord knows how I hate goodbyes.