The Red Dirt Wranglers

Gardening, Permaculture and Homesteading in the South East

Fall glory

Fall is a great season for gardeners, particularly here in zone 7b.  Lots of fresh garden produce is still available, and it is harvest time for many of the summer crops.

Last week we set out to harvest our sweet potato crop and had a blast.  Our two boys had so much fun searching for bright orange Covington potatoes in the ground.  This is our second year harvesting sweet potatoes, and it has really started to feel like a tradition.  It made me pause and reflect on other Fall seasonal activities such as going to the Fair, Fall Festivals at elementary schools, etc..  I think that a lot of these “celebrations” are intended to fill the void created when we as a society moved away from agriculture.  Having a small sweet potato patch in our backyard gives us beautiful green vines to admire all summer, a fun day of harvest in Fall, and wonderful sweet potatoes to eat all winter.  I can’t recommend this enough.

Another happy event that occurs in the Fall is garden clean-up.  It may not sound like fun, but there is a certain satisfaction in taking the tree trimmers to okra with stems the size of three year old saplings and tossing the huge plants into the chicken run.  In as well go the sweet potato vines, and tomato vines that have long since ripened their last fruit.  The gals then have a great time eating greens, looking for hidden bugs and enjoying the change of scenery.


Persimmon harvestFall is also the time to harvest persimmons, which is one of my all-time favorite fruits.  We currently have a three year old Fuyu that produces plenty of fruit for our small family.  I’m hoping to add another Asian and perhaps American persimmon next Spring.

Speaking of Spring…have you started planning next year’s garden?  I have.  Knowing that it’s only 2 months until time to start onion starts under fluorescent lights is one of the few things that will keep this gardening gal going during the coming dark months of winter.


Next weekend’s task:  get garlic in the ground!  Have you started your garlic yet?


  • Laurie says:

    We dug our sweet potatoes a couple of weeks ago. The voles ate about 1/3 of them this year… better than some years, worse than others. Our garlic got planted that same weekend. Though we have 3 native persimmons here, the local wildlife get them before they’re quite ripe enough to eat. I managed to get one this year. I’d love to hear how you eat them, and if you have any favorite recipes to share.

    • kelly says:

      Hi Laurie, thanks for your comment. We didn’t have any issues with voles this year, most likely due to all of the black snakes that. I guess that makes up for all of the times that seeing them unexpectedly caused me to do the crazy snake dance across the yard :-). As for eating persimmons, we just eat them once they are ripened. We will be posting some sweet potato recipes throughout the winter as we eat through our larder.