Before this wild string of 70 degree days, there was a frost. With plenty of warning, we spent two days working to bring everything in that needed bringing in before a frost - peppers, basil, squash, cucumbers (yes, still cucumbers!), and all those tomatoes!
What a fun inventory, really, of what was out there - walking down the rows deciding what could stay out and what should go in. It became a full family affair, as even those who don't spend a lot of time in the garden rallied with us to get it all done. It was a party, to be sure, and clearly I wasn't the only one who thought so. As we went about our classes and errands last week, Adelaide and Harper had an excited "there's a frost coming!" chant they sang, as if announcing a birthday. Delightful.
Some of what we brought in sits in the sun or by the woodstove to cure (where I find great full-circle comfort in thinking about them germinating in the very same spot as seedlings all those months ago); more waits in bowls on the table in anticipation of still preserving (it was a slow, but steady tomato season, after all...hooray, more Soule-Sa!); and much of it heads to the root cellar.
The root cellar? Yes, yes....we went that route (greenhouse coming next year). Thanks to the excellent advice in Root Cellering, we made some slight modifications to our dirt-floored cellar. I can say with almost certainly that this isn't the first winter in which a family's food has been stored down there in that 200 year old cellar of ours. That assumption, along with the fast-filling-up shelves down there are certainly enough to make this mama fall in love with that low-ceilinged, dirt-floored, stone wall, kinda creepy cellar, after all.
Sweet harvest days...