I finally have my computer up and running and I have even been able to upload photos! So now we back up a bit...
The week before we left we had a storm move through that brought a hard frost. Since we were leaving anyway, there was no point in even trying to save the garden. We went out the evening before and tried to pick everything we could. This is what the garden looked like at that point-- isn't it beautiful?
The kids' side:
And then the next day-- yes, that's snow in early September!
We lost everything but the carrots, the broccoli, and the peas, as far as I remember. I had Bean tear everything else out before we left, but those things are probably still growing. I told my neighbor to come help herself and I hope she did/does. I particularly hope the broccoli produces something. These freak storms do come too early sometimes, but then there is often a long period of decent weather afterwards.
I learned something about peas. I am used to planting them early in the spring, harvesting them in June, and then pulling out the plants when it gets hot and they get dry and yucky-looking. In this climate, I planted them at the end of May along with everything else. I harvested them in July and then the plants started to die. I meant to go out and pull them up, but I was so sick that I didn't. Well, when the weather turned cool again, they put out new growth, new blossoms, and new pea pods. I didn't know peas did that. It was pretty cool.
It was sad to lose all the squash plants. I had a really nice pumpkin and some butternut squash that were maturing and just needed a little bit longer. Well, I guess I would have had to leave them anyway.
Here is most of what we gathered that evening before the frost. We had to pick all the tomatoes, red or green. There were a lot: buckets more than you see here. I gave a lot away to people who came to help me move.
Chard, cucumbers, beans, peas, purple carrots, onions that never got very big, tomatoes, kale, Anaheim chili peppers, and corn. The corn was a big surprise. I didn't know what to expect because the plants never got very big and I hadn't been keeping a good eye on them to even know if it was time to pick them yet or not. But even though some of the ears were small and immature (mostly from Bean's garden because he planted later) there were several fully formed and ripe ears. With no worms in them. And they were delicious.
All of it was delicious. I absolutely loved my garden this year. I realized over the summer that gardening is not just something I like to do and feel is a good idea for provident living, but it is something that feeds my soul. I am so grateful I was able to grow this beautiful garden this year.