All the raised beds are planted with their winter crops, I’ve gotten several perennial flowers in the ground, and all the bulbs planted (I think - there might be one more shipment coming). The last two weekends have been rough, full of hard work and sore muscles.
The chickens got a lot of new stuff in the compost pile, so much that Molly got up into it and couldn’t figure out how to get back out.
I made tomato paste with all the last tomatoes. I started with a full trug of fruit and ended up with one ice cube tray full of paste for the freezer. You cook it until it’s brick red and most of the moisture has baked away, which takes a full day. (First, you’ve got to cook them down a bit with salt, then put them through the food mill, then decant the puree into some sort of long shallow dish, then into the oven at 225 for hours.)
We’ve had some chilly nights; one morning it was 42 degrees, so I’m glad to have everything tucked in and covered with fleece. Still, going to be hot and windy today, which makes us worry about fire. Cal Fire has been amazing this summer, putting fires out so quickly, and they have not be overwhelmed as in past summers. But fall is a new challenge, because it just gets drier and drier around here - no rain usually until November.
The flowers are really glorious right now, and we’re enjoying watching the pollinators cruise from blossom to blossom. These flowers will all last until the first true frost.
I found a lot of basil under the cherry tomatoes (I had forgotten that I planted it there!) so I was able to make yet one more last pesto for the freezer. Half of the last batch of sweet peppers will be cooked tonight in a sort of Italian skillet dish, and the other half will be roasted for the freezer. Tomorrow night I’ll be making a mixed winter squash soup. The last batch of hot peppers has been strung up to dry, and with that, we put the summer garden to bed. I’m looking forward to the first snap peas and kale, but until then, we’ll just sit tight and enjoy the flowers.