October 10, 2013

Did you think after harvesting those summer tomatoes that we put the Cooking Light garden to bed? No, but we did put lettuces, cabbages, radish and carrot seeds, kale seedlings and bok choy in the beds.  A whole new world of cool-season crops opens up when the temperatures go down. We're gearing up for planting garlic, using the biggest cloves saved from our first Cooking Light Garden crop. Each single clove will grow to produce a fat, zesty head of garlic by next May. That's not a bad return on investment. We're also pulling plants out of the ground this time of year, as we test our first crop of heirloom peanuts.  Take a look at what's growing -- and thriving -- in these cool October days.

Edible nasturtiums are billowing over the beds, showing off blooms so hot orange that a lens can't capture it. On rainy days, I've been shelling summer beans, like the Painted Pony variety. The pepper crop is popping, putting out loads of fruit. Gypsy is an especially pretty variety on the plant, as it colors from yellow-green to orange and red. And despite those hungry coyotes, we managed to snag a colorful harvest of winter squash and a few pumpkins!

With any garden, there are always animals like voles and squirrels that would love to share in the harvest. Our beloved golden retriever, Lucy, was a great garden guard dog, even if she only raised an eyebrow at the squirrels as they scampered away with our fruit. This post is dedicated to her, as she was so dedicated and loyal to our farm family for nine years. Be sure to see her smiling mug in the cover photo of the Tomato Growing Guide.

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