Following on the thoughts in my last post, I fell deeper into a meditation on that most stunning time of day, when the last of the light burns its brightest, before the dropping of the curtain of night. As gardeners often note, in late fall the garden is in retreat, preparing to be put to bed for the winter. During these short days, B. and I rush to use the daylight to help protect tender plants from the first frost, and harvest the last of our herbs and vegetables, some of which we planted too late to come to full ripeness. Lesson for next year!
Continuing to think about ways to extend the season, we started saving seeds: blue lake pole beans, corn, and flowers like delphinium and agapanthus. While I am new to so much of this, seed-saving is a very old and worthwhile pursuit, and locally as well as nationally there are seed exchanges – even online – where people share what they have. We’ve been so fortunate in the herbs, nuts and vegetables that graced our garden this year, rewarding many months of hard but completely satisfying work. Food banks have been another great way to share the garden’s bounty, and while people are in need all year round, the holidays always bring this home in a way that perhaps escapes us during the warmer months.