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.
Fall 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?