The year has turned. It is time to put the garden to bed. Already I've trimmed the thyme and hacked down the reaching arms of the oregano and sylvetta arugula. Red clover is coming up between the tomatoes. The winter's greens and root crops, planted in the blazing summer when rain was still a dream, are sturdy now, if still half-sized.
The sunflowers crowded along the back fence are a glorious splatter of yellows and orange against the darkening sky. I've been reluctant to cut them down to dry for seed, and while I've lingered, admiring, the birds have delicately picked away at their faces, while the squirrels--always less mannerly--gobble them up and scattered their dry bones across the yard.
I've been saving the easy seeds sporadically through the summer--poppy, calendula, sweet peas--but forgot in our short window of Indian Summer to pull in the old runner and pole beans, dried black on the vine. The hairy vetch and favas, supplanted in all but a few patches by the winter greens, are likewise soggy. Perhaps I can string up the long vines to dry in the sunroom, over the boxes of blushing, not-quite-ripe tomatoes.
I love the garden this time of year, a little wild from summer neglect, and smelling of wet earth. In the winter the garden is a dream built of seed catalogs and graph paper; in the spring it is new green and hope; in the summer the garden is a cornucopia, spilling out into late evening dinner parties at the picnic table, and preserving projects that steam up the kitchen; now, in the fall, the garden is quiet. Not dead quiet, thinking quiet. There is time now to breath in the dirt and leaves, to stop and admire the bright bouquet of late flowers, volunteering beside the path, or the geometry of drying seed pods. In the spring and summer the garden is a product of my winter's planning, but the wild fall garden, it seems to me, belongs to itself.
Red & White, Mountain Rye, Vollkornbrot
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Black Sesame Palmier
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