As our calender fills up the garden is quietly beginning its decline. The re-roofing project on our townhouse pulled me away from the garden earlier than ever this summer. I was happy with the bountiful lemon balm which is still on the list for the dehydrator, as is the applemint. The bee balm was eaten alive by something but I'm hopeful that it will come back next year. I've dried raspberry leaves for tea and hope next year to get a harvest of berries from the plant. As for the back patio plants the tomatoes continue to ripen over at my neighbour's place since our deck is a construction zone. The cucumber didn't produce well and the parsley was not as prolific this year as last.
I've taken away several lessons from this year's experiments. The summer's abundance or lack thereof has given me lots to ponder. With each lovely tomato that we've eaten (there haven't been that many so we've savored each one) I've become more decided that my tomato growing days are over for this period of my life. I have tried for 3 years now and though each year has proven more successful than the last I think overall I can find a much better use for my time elsewhere. Because of the heat on our deck the tomatoes require more attention than normal. I'd rather be sewing than doting on tomatoes. Especially when I have such wonderful options from the farmer's market in terms of heritage varieties and the like.
Our peas were great this year although no english shelling peas next year. Just the snap ones will do for our summer snacks. I'd need double to triple the production I did this year with the shelling peas to make it worthy of my time.
The rhubarb was very abundant this year and I got many harvests from the one plant. Next year I plan to get some manure for it in spring just to give it that extra boost it may need. And otherwise I plan on getting more flowers for the patio next year so that my eyes and the bees and butterflies can enjoy them. Growing food is a wonderful pursuit and I think it may take more of a central role in our family in the future. For the next few years though I'm going to put my efforts into other areas and take advantage of the myriad of organic/biodynamic options that are all around the city.
There is still lots of work left in terms of putting all the plants to sleep and cleaning up pots for overwintering. Last fall I got lazy and left it all out in the rain for the winter...something that I regretted this spring since carrying drenched pots of old potting soil is not fun. I will plan out some fall days to clean up the remaining pots and also plan to cover the front bed with leaves for extra mulch and to add to the Halloween display that is in my mind's eye. As always I'm grateful for the lessons that growing and working with the soil impart. I hope your garden has blessed you with lessons and abundance this year.