Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Please allow me to get something off my chest...Winter vegetables will never appeal to me the way that tomatoes do!  There, I've said it! I'm not going to try to fake that I'm a happy gardener any more! When I walk out to the vegetable garden I want to feel the warm sun beating down on my head. I want to walk barefoot in the soil that's so soft it feels like I'm walking on clouds. I want to walk amongst the tomato plants selecting a cherry variety here and something larger there.  I don't need to rinse or even carry them inside to enjoy a filling garden snack.

With Fall comes a very different garden reality.  My morning stroll now involves bundling up with wool socks and a jacket.  The ground is cold and moist and in some areas it's mud.  The few  remaining cherry tomatoes are cold. I cannot detect even the slightest hint of warm sunshine when I eat them.  

As I walk from one bed to the next I see that I have more space for additional planting.  I  don't have anything pressing that I absolutely "must" plant.  I'll think of something just so the space isn't wasted.  Continuing on I notice that the peas are getting quite tall. The lettuces all should be harvested.  There's plenty ready for fresh salads.  Some have smooth spotted leaves, some have spiky leaves, some have curly berry red leaves and some almost lime green.  The spinach is lush and full as is my favorite, arugula. In the next bed broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower continue to grow.  I am amazed to see the many shades of green that color my gardens.  Blue greens, gray greens, yellow greens and brown greens all coexist to create an incredible palette of color. Beets, with their red and green leaves stand upright and reach up to the sun.  Bright Lights Swiss chard seems to double in size every week and doesn't disappoint with it's dark green leaves and  fluorescent yellow, red and orange stems.  Some people would never believe that these are true colors of the garden. It's something that only a gardener has the privilege to know. 
Heading back toward the house I notice a little pang of hunger and reach down to take outer leaves from some of the lettuces.  There in my hand I enjoy a fresh picked salad of mixed greens and find that my hunger has abated. I smile to myself and think that maybe I do like growing winter vegetables after all.