Hello Fall, Goodbye Garden.

The end of a season in Michigan can be easily marked. Cooling temperatures of the evening slowly begin to erase green from the tops of the trees, urging them to change into oranges and yellows by the morning. And in it’s path, it warns us to take late night wanderings through the garden, to pluck any last tomatoes we can find, to bring them in and preserve them for the long winter months to follow. Like squirrels we begin hoarding the freshness of summer, fearing an opportunity loss by the morning. And as the warmth of these September days surrender themselves, a breeze hits our dining room table, telling me to turn off our ceiling fan and find a sweater.  Come bedtime I have found socks for my feet and a heated blanket for my bed just in case.

Fall is tricky like that around here. Even though you aren’t ready for it to come, it is already in motion. Without my recognition, our tomato plants have begun to slow their production. Our sandwich tomatoes are becoming smaller the colder it gets at night. The last of our cherry tomatoes, which have been hanging on the vine green for some time now, have begun to drop prematurely from their branches, not yet red. I am not ready for this transition. It has been months since we have had to go to the Farmers’ Market or grocery store for tomatoes. For a season I have taken advantage of our tomato plants, happily pawing through them each evening before I go up to our apartment to start dinner.

But all good things must come to an end, and when Mother Nature closes a doors, she opens a window… isn’t that how that cliche goes? Either way. Cliche or no cliche, Fall is here, in Michigan. And our garden, that we spent hours tending to, is now ready to be rooted out so our soil can be cleansed for next year’s crop.

Hello, Fall. I’m so glad you’re here.

And, until I can venture out to the garden again, I’ll be sure to spend some extra time in our botanical living room, where the sun is always sure to pour in and I can smell the coffee from the other room.

hanging plantHappy Wednesday, y’all. We’re half way through the week!

 

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Growing things and growing up.

Let’s celebrate, people! Our tomato plants are producing red, ripe vegetables, ready for dinner and delightful! Witnessing all our hard work  fills a body with pride and reminds me of my carefree evenings growing up in Leelanau. As a child, my parents always kept a garden filled with rows of corn and beans, tomatoes and other vegetables in long rows one after the other. After dinner, my dad would take the youngest children into the garden so we could “help” (but being the youngest of five I hardly ever did what I was supposed to). My twin sister, Brittany, would find herself seated in the green bean aisle, crunching away at the beans she would rub on her pants to clean. I would yell at her that beans were nasty and dodge into the next row before she could swat me away. (If only my six year old self could see my eating habits now). My brother, Alex, ever the serious farmer would carry his empty gallon ice cream container from plant to plant diligently filling it. And me? I would continue racing around and eventually end up on the swing set, kicking my shoes into the garden, then race to get them and run back to the swing and repeat it all over again. For years, bugs weren’t the only pests in my parents garden. Now, as I tend to my own small garden, I can’t believe how much I have grown and evolved, and be ever thankful for my parents immense levels of patience with gardening and me. big red tomato on vineWhen I went out to the garden earlier this week, only the small cherry tomatoes were producing, but now from the vine I spy a large sandwich tomato as well. I’ve been keeping my eye on them and plotting the first perfect meal to make with them and all of my fresh basil. Details to come… and no surprise here, but I think I’ll be putting them on a tortilla… Until then here’s a glance at our garden and all the red filling our kitchen! basil plant outside little red tomatoes on vineTwo Tomatoes 1