Playing Catch-Up

I can’t believe I last wrote back in September.  Well, now it’s deep fall, not just that official, astronomical fall.  My garden is nearly cleaned up, the cold frame has returned and is housing some lovely lettuces, and all but the crops that don’t mind cold are gone.  I still need to amend the soil, but the garden is very nearly put to bed!


Yields began to go crazy–finishing up on a good note. I’ll be missing the flowers!

I used to garden much of the year, but climate change has made that less predictable.  Our largely mid-forties winters with a cold snap in January or February have become a roller coaster of snow storms, ice, the Polar Vortex, and extended cold springs.  I still haven’t got the hang of exactly what to plant, but on the other hand, I have begun to enjoy the December through February break.


A couple other gardeners mentioned they got more yield from their eggplants in October than in the summer.

We had a hard freeze Friday night and predictions for temperatures continuing to drop into the upper twenties (F).  Friday I took off work a little early and harvested carrots, kale, and turnips from the Plot Against Hunger garden.  The turnip greens were amazing and they went with 3 pounds of turnips.  I also got nearly 8 pounds of carrots.  I divided them into 5 12 oz packages.


Carrots! Yum! These are Scarlet Nantes, which grow well in heavy soil.

There were some courageous cucumber seeds in the new Plot garden.  They came up in late September and yielded a number of cucumbers before succumbing to frost.  I added four cucumbers to the Plot haul.  All told, I took 14 pounds of produce in!  It was a lot of stuff and I imagine could supplement quite a few families’ groceries.  There are still broccoli and cauliflower plants in the Plot, and more turnips, so we have a few more deliveries before we run out for the winter.

My own garden had a sort of renaissance of yields after we had a couple good rains.  More okra, thriving arugula, eggplants galore, peppers, chard, and some fall planted radishes.  It’s been amazing.  I still have broccoli and cauliflower as well as rapini and parsley wintering.  I may get some heads from the broccoli and cauliflower over the winter.  We’ll see.


The peppers did well, especially after the rain…

Without so much work needing to be done, I’ll be taking more hikes, doing more crafts, and … very likely baking a lot.  I do like to snug in on dark evenings, so I’ll probably consume more scotch and maybe I’ll have more time to write and be a more frequent visitor to your blogs as well.


I’m so glad the arugula is hardy. I’ll be pairing it with some beets soon.

Happy fall and have a good week.  (And for those of you Down Under, I hope your spring brings rains instead of drought and you love all the extra light.)


Bittersweet vine. If it’s the horrible invasive Asian stuff and not the thing from my childhood, please don’t tell me…

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47 Responses to Playing Catch-Up

  1. Bruce says:

    Wonderful produce, Lisa. And thanks for the rain-wishes – my garden has been flooded for the last week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    I grew up in native bittersweet country, and absolutely love it. The last time I went to Iowa, I tried and tried to find some along the fencelines, but couldn’t. So, I did the next best thing. I bought some artificial bittersweet garlands that do look like te real thing, and they’re still hanging out in my kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eliza Waters says:

    Looks like a bountiful year for you in the garden, Lisa. Like you, I am already missing the flowers. Such a long slog to April! It has been so cold the past couple days, too much, too soon. Tomorrow is supposed to be in the mid-40s, better than the 20s!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The weather is such an interesting topic these days isn’t it – nothing is the way it used to be. We are still pretty much in winter mode with a few interim days pretending to be spring. Last summer was a bit of a non event and this one is fast heading the same way. Still. makes for lost of art and crafting time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      Gosh, a lost summer would be bad. Lost winter, maybe not so much, but yes, it does give more crafting time. I can’t believe how late in the year it is. Boy, The Overstory came to a crashingly horrid end. Talk about dark. We must process that on Skype at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yet I felt still there was hope and a way forward……. But that might just be my eternal optimism 🙂 It’s such a powerful journey you go on as a reader isn’t it. Do you feel changed at a fundamental level? And of course, yes to the skype.

        Liked by 1 person

      • arlingwoman says:

        Oh, golly, it seemed all darkness and destruction and pain to me. Everything after the death of Olivia. Whew. It took a bit of processing and climbing up to the light. It will be interesting to hear your take.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Well done for the tidying and for the work that went into the splendid produce. May your winter be kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. KerryCan says:

    Every time I read about your dedication with the Plot Against Hunger I am impressed anew–it’s such a fine thing you’re doing! And the yield of your gardens is amazing. I like the idea of you drinking Scotch and doing crafts . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brenda says:

    I was scrambling last week to get the last of the carrots and beets in before snow. Just made it! I love seeing all your garden bounty. We also had a late fall overload of eggplant. I was giving it away to everyone who would take it. I’m inspired by you to try to set up something with a local food pantry next year–we always have more than we need. Enjoy your crafts and Scotch–I’ll be joining you in spirit, but with wine, instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I’m glad you got your crops out–though carrots are sweeter after cold. It takes a good volunteer infrastructure to handle fresh food at food banks. AFAC picks up from farm markets and has donation points and times for drop offs from gardeners. Believe me, we’ll be able to toast each other with wine some evenings as well. Stay warm.


  8. The weather is off everywhere. It’s still too warm here and rain hasn’t come yet but we had rain in the summer which is rare. I’m grateful. Your crops look wonderful and someone will be pleased to have them. I am a brandy person myself and had mine a bit earlier. It keeps the bronchials clear. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Still working on last winter’s bottle but I’ll have to get a bottle for this winter soon. Enjoy your crafting time. I’ve already started.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lavinia Ross says:

    The garden produce looks delicious, Lisa! Yes, our eggplant also do better in October, if frost has not come first.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sylvie Ge says:

    The carrots seem to be from Michelin star restaurant. I am in tune with your weather now, in the Northern hemisphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful bounty from your garden, and your way of coping with winter sounds like just the thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Zambian Lady says:

    Wow, you are a really serious gardener! The produce looks good. Bon apetit.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Welcome back to the blogging world, Lisa. I’m sorry to read about your early winter. It seems that the planet is fed up with our collective damage to our fragile earth. I’m glad you have things you enjoy on cold days like crafting, baking and drinking scotch. It must be gratifying to harvest and share from your community garden. Every little bit helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      I forgot to add that Helen never did get a card–I had already written one with some photos enclosed for my mother to send, then never sent one from me. Helen was 100 in September and her daughter wanted people to send notes and photos, so while I was visiting Mom, we dug up pictures and I wrote the letter as Mom has trouble writing much because of arthritis. Goodness, that was a lot of info about Helen’s card!


  14. Robin says:

    The vegetables in this post are making my mouth water. Our yield was not very good this year, but better than last year. The bittersweet berries are so pretty. We have bittersweet in Ohio, but I haven’t seen it here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlingwoman says:

      We’ve had a resurgence since it rained, and things began to look better and grow again, but we’ll see if snow/freezing rain holds off. That’s what would get things. I love bittersweet. I don’t see it here very often because it needs woodland. I saw that down on the Occoquan.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. tonytomeo says:

    I’m sorry I missed everyone’s post for the past week and a half. I need to catch up too. We are getting into pruning and planting season here.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I really must dig my comedy carrot photograph out – it’s amusing but virtually inedible, I have never got the hang of carrots .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Maria says:

    It’s the first time I see such fat and stocky carrots.

    Liked by 1 person

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