As I peer into my jar of coconut oil and see that it has finally hardened from its liquid greasy state I realise, that Fall has officially arrived. Its time to pack up the garden (now looking quite sad and tired) and put away seeds for the next growing season. I can’t help but feel a mixture of relief and nostalgia.
I harvested my potatoes, sifting through two sackfuls of soil by hand. The crop yielded a dishearteningly limited amount, with an exceptionally creamy and rewarding taste. I snapped the last robust but yellowing cucumber off the dried up vine and looked wistfully toward my courgette plants who mysteriously stopped bearing fruit surprisingly early on in the season. I believe for every gardener this is a time of reflection, when we think about what we will do differently next year.
I can’t say I will miss stumbling back and forth carrying plastic milk jugs of water to my thirsty tomatoes from the kitchen faucet (no water source on the patio!), but there will no doubt be a time in the dead of winter when I look out at my vegetable graveyard and wish there was something to water besides dusty houseplants.
It is a good idea to start saving your seeds by soaking them in warm water for a few days, to remove the gooey film, and then drying them out thoroughly before depositing them into labeled envelopes (or don’t if you like an element of surprise). The advantage to saving your own seeds rather than buying them in the store again next year, is that the seeds become better adapted, each generation, to your gardens unique environment (strong wind, very dry, PH of soil, etc). Over time, you will develop your own variety of plant unique to your little corner of the world.
Coming soon… seed keeping tips and how to save your soil