Autumn Greens

So there's no more fuss and there's no more scenes
and my garden thrives! (You should see my nectarine.)
But I'm telling you the same I tell Kings and Queens
don't ever ever ever mess around with my greens!

~from Into the Woods, by Stephen Sondheim

We're still slogging through our kitchen renovation, and it's sucking up a lot of time that we would ordinarily be spending on preserving the last of our summer fruits — not mention cooking delicious meals using all that garden produce. An embarrassing amount of apples, pears, and tomatoes have been fed to the chickens due to our inability to eat them in a timely fashion.

One thing that's doing well and can be stored in place outside are the cool-weather greens. Though the back half of the summer was a dry one, we had a fair amount of rain early this month to get us back on track. The moisture and the cooler temperatures mean happy greens:

Cilantro, because it's related to carrots and celery, is at its absolute best in the fall. That's not convenient for making salsa with our summer tomatoes, but it's worth growing a separate patch in the autumn for other uses. The dill isn't bad, either.

The turnip patch is ready to be picked, but we'll store them in place until we're able to actually use them for soups when we have the kitchen up and running.

One of our patches of fall greens. This one is quite intensively planted with turnips, bok choy, beet greens, and arugula. 

We haven't yet harvested all of our cabbages. These beauties are still outside, where it's no longer warm enough to put them in danger of bolting. 

This patch of winter mesclun got off to a slow start because I planted it in the midst of a dry spell. Though there's still a bald spot, it's almost big enough to start picking some leaves for salads.

This year's kale patch looks great, as does the Swiss chard on the end. We fenced this off to keep the groundhog and rabbits at bay, since we are unable to cast a spell to keep unwanted visitors out of our garden. Luckily, we have a cat for that:

This is the aftermath of a major kill for Cooper today. He dragged a gigantic rabbit in to the porch through the cat door, turning the area into a butcher shop where he feasted on its hind leg (admittedly, the meatiest portion). That granddaddy rabbit was almost as big as Cooper himself, and he kept returning throughout the day to nibble some more, like we would with Thanksgiving leftovers. I decided to spare you the horror of the killing floor, though I had an opportunity to snap a photo of the proud hunter standing over his trophy.

At any rate, don't mess around with our greens.


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