Check out my new book, The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don't Know Can Hurt You, available from Amazon.

2012 Silver winner in the Health/Medicine/Nutrition Category of the Independent Publishers Book Awards

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Post Harvest Blues

The tomato plants have been pulled. The last of the zucchinis are safely stowed in the freezer. And, the rest of summer's bounty is but a memory. Sure, the ground is being prepared for garlic and fava beans and the hoop houses are still working their magic on the chard, lettuce and carrots but, for the most part, the main season is over.

For those of you who use gardening as therapy, working the soil, tending your plants and enjoying the sunshine when times get tough, post harvest blues can set in.

I, personally, switch gears to baking, sewing, knitting and other projects that make me feel like I'm still producing something. But that doesn't mean I still don't gaze longingly to the backyard, plotting next year's crops and looking forward to another year of fresh fruits and vegetables from just outside.

So, what do you do between the last of the crops and when the seed catalogs start arriving in January, reigniting dreams of another year of voluptuousness in the garden? Do you immediately start planning or put everything aside?

15 comments:

Green Bean said...

I'm like you. I switch to knitting and crafting for Christmas, organizing and decluttering the house and gussying things up indoors.

I do find this a good time, though, to make notes and maps for next years garden - while everything is still fresh in my mind.

Erica said...

I'm just f'ing relieved. I need a break. But you are right - perhaps that's why I've just taken up sewing?

Lee Borden said...

Living in Alabama, we are able to grow brassicas straight through the winter, so the garden is never shut down; it just moves from season to season the way we humans do. Winter is a quieter time for us, though; time to get in more walking and to take on those projects we can't manage during the summer. Time to empty that freezer that's bulging right now and to open all those jars of veg we put up during the growing season. Time to sleep. Time to dream of next year.

robbie @ going green mama said...

I just switch gears - and just did my fall planting. Fall gardening is just easier: lettuces, carrots, bok choy, and soon, garlic. It's a nice way to wind down without being bummed about the end of summer.

Heather said...

After the disaster that my garden was this year, I immediately am thinking to next year. I am also trying to figure out if I want to do a CSA next summer, or skip it and invest the money in producing our own food. So while I am mainly concentrating on Christmas knitting right now, I am trying to think ahead to what I need/should plant next year.

Elizabeth said...

I take a break until the new year; the season is busy enough. A lot more cooking and baking gets done in the cold months no matter what. And I grow sprouts indoors. Around January or February I start looking through the seed catalougues and tweaking what I did the year before (and expanding, in idea form at least)
It's a Long Time until spring when the ground is ready again.

Sandy said...

I focus on indoor arts; I do needlework, cook, paint, read...and sleep more. I LOVE snuggling under a blanket with my cats in cold weather! The garden will start being planned in February or so.

jessieimproved said...

Lots and lots of knitting and baking, and staring for no good reason at barren looking garlic and onion beds. I'm a huge geek though, so I always have my garden plot spreadsheets to keep me company!

Chili said...

Clean! Indoor chores are neglected during growing season. Time to straighten up, clean up, and put away in prep for the new seasons. Spring cleaning starts now.

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

This year is my first time having a winter garden.
As I pull the summer things I plant my winter item. Yesterday I pulled pumpkins (damn mold!) & planted kale and lettuce.
I do this about once a week. Should have lots of green hardy plants to last me for a while. I also can plant in my greenhouse which is about 10 degrees warmer than outside. I plant to grow lots of stuff in there too.

Then in between im recording what I planted where. Making list of what I want to plant next year and where. Gathering garden items I need that are being clearanced out right now. Taking advantage of sales of plants.

I did pull out the knitting supplies yesterday, pulled all our winter clothes out and decorated for the Fall.

I am enjoying my hot coffee, hot soups and sitting in front of the fireplace. But gardening is always on my mind.

Crunchy Chicken said...

Chili - Yes! Good point. All those inside projects will actually get some attention now.

Brad K. said...

I still have seed starting flats and tools to clean, compost to gather to use this winter for soil mix, and a few plants (rosemary, lavender, spearmint, peppers) I want to bring in this fall before the first frost in a couple of weeks.

I want to rebuild my grow-light stand and table, add a heat-shroud to warm the seeds and plants a bit above room temperature (which I anticipate will hover about 56 F, like last year).

I just started Tomatoes Love Carrots, and some lessons learned I want to incorporate. So far my biggest success in the garden was the Moss rose bed. Like last year, each plant survived, they spread nicely, and are still blossoning most mornings.

Blessed be!

nantuckettiechic said...

One word, hydroponics. We grow lettuces and herbs all through the winter in the greenhouse. I keep a tomato plant going too--just for the sake of the smell. It can be grey here for weeks on end. The smell of a tomato plant is essential for my mental health. It's a good thing the garden winds down outside in time for the holidays!

treehuggers kitchen said...

I'm with the keeping busy with new projects group. I switch to knitting, sewing, and lots and lots of cooking and baking. :)

Joanie said...

What a great post! Sums up what I'm feeling right now. Post Harvest Blues. We chose not to garden through the winter this year, as we raised the garden beds another board level and are preparing to plant a soil building cover crop, so we're ready to go in the spring. But as I looked through garden pictures this year, I realized I was really sad that the garden was now "empty".

I, too, switch to indoor projects: baking and sewing plus garden preparation for next year (re-worked my "garden design" yesterday afternoon for a contest). A good time to become refreshed and ready for another growing season!

LinkWithin