In early October we brought in what we thought would be our last harvest before wintery weather put an end to our summer garden.
Now, a day away from November 1st, after several rainstorms and a few weeks of mild days, there are some unexpected surprises in the garden.
We don’t usually get to grow a fall garden – the grasshoppers mow down any seedlings planted late in the season and winter comes on quickly, leaving us without enough time between the end of the grasshoppers and the onslaught of winter.
This year has been a little different.
Dill seedlings have popped up as volunteers beneath the dried plants that grew all summer long.
And a fresh crop of cilantro volunteers is sprouting literally everywhere in the garden. (No complaints from me.)
While unexpected herbs are fun, I was beyond ecstatic when I found some tiny ‘Red Giant’ mustard seedlings growing beneath their parent plants.
Then the little seedlings got outdone by some slightly more mature mustard growing nearby.
With a short growing season, unexpected fall growth is a rare treat.
And then there is also the fun of discovering plants that somehow managed to stay alive longer than expected.
We’ve had some hard freezes already, yet, some of our slower to bolt bok choy is still in bloom.
And our garden sage is still holding its own, ready to grace our holiday meals.
All of our California poppies, grown from seed, have stood up to those hard freezes without flinching.
And the same goes for the snapdragons we transplanted in the spring – they have withstood the hard freezes and still bear some blooms.
Admittedly, in our climate, the days have probably been a bit too warm, giving these mild days a somewhat ominous undertone.
Nonetheless, the extra rain and warmer days seem to have made for beautiful fall color on the farm this year.
And while it usually seems like we only get a brief glimpse of autumn, fall seems to have stretched itself out this year and is in no hurry to move along.