When school started in the fall, my ability to get out into the gardens withered like the tomatoes on my vines. Our summer had been very rainy and cooler than usual, which, as you know is not the ideal condition for warmth loving plants like tomatoes. It is sad to think that towards the end of the growing season my tomatoes developed a fungus on them and even my most arduous attempt at peeling away the bad stuff couldn’t even amount to enough for one bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.
Once I was able to get out and survey the full extent of the damage, I knew I would need to pull the diseased vines from the garden and throw them onto our burnpile for a late night winter bonfire. I am fairly certain that a 200 foot distance between and a hot fire will deter those nasty spores from returning to the garden next year. This will probably be the last year we use the bonfire or at least its present entire size. Future plans would be to make it into a berry patch with strawberries and a few red and black raspberry plants. Freshly picked fruits from the gardens are so delicious and you can’t beat the convenience for freshness.
As I get older and more family come around I’ve also tossed around the idea of making the old bonfire spot into a pumpkin patch where the grandkids can carve their names into the skin of the pumpkins when they just start to turn orange and then come out a few weeks later to see if they can find their “personalized” jack-o-lantern. Well, time will tell what I decide to do. Just having the space to garden is such a pleasure and also serves as therapy for me – the kind where you don’t need a referral, an appointment, or a large wallet to cover the benefits.
While the garden rests over the next four months or so, I will inevitably start the process all over again and come into spring refreshed and ready to try something new again. For this I am VERY thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving !!