Wednesday, November 10, 2010

First Snow, Final Harvest

Dear God:

Today I am thankful for our first snow and my garden's final harvest.

Winter arrived late yesterday afternoon. Finally, my colleagues and I sighed as we monitored the plunging temperature on Google weather. Yes, the nearly 80 degree F temperatures last weekend were divine but, alas, too good to be true. 28 degrees F. Now that's more like it.

And the snow. Swirling and whirling around people and cars and buildings and trees and scrub oak. Arriving  just as the rush hour traffic peaked. Hours later, the storm finished her work. Her gift: over three inches of fresh ice and snow covering everything.

This evening, I check the Swiss chard that has been feeding me since June. Sadly, I realize that the hardy plants will freeze tonight, that it is time for my garden's final harvest.

The ceremony is very quick. I carefully cut the remaining leaves with my favorite shears. Then, I wash and roughly chop the leaves before adding them to the homemade vegetable soup that simmers on the stove.

This year's vegetable garden was my best ever. The Colorado weather cooperated, I fertilized the plants monthly and, most importantly, I didn't have the time or energy to fuss over the tomatoes. As a result, we enjoyed a delicious and healthy bounty of fresh organic food: cherry tomatoes, monster zucchini, Japanese eggplant, Swiss chard, strawberries, raspberries, Goji berries, cayenne peppers, jalapeno peppers and herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, thyme, chives, tarragon, sage, mint, lovage and sorrel).

I think that Dad, an expert gardener in his own right, would have been proud of my results.

For these blessings, I am grateful.


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