Saturday, September 12, 2009

When The Garden Dies

It's September.

Somehow as soon as Labor Day comes the nights and mornings get cooler and the humidity disappears. On the positive side, our utility bills decrease because we don't need the air conditioning. On the negative side, my summer garden fades.

I plant my container garden in mid-May and it peaks in August. By the time the school busses start rolling through the neighborhood I have so many tomatoes, peppers, and fresh herbs that I need to find ways to store them or use them while they are still available. But my vegetable plants are on their way out.

I love tomatoes, so I'll be making plenty of fresh bruschetta, salsa, and marinara in the next few days. When I end up with too many overripe tomatoes mid-week I freeze them whole and cook them down for marinara sauce when I get the free time. I share my peppers with coworkers.

Losing the fresh herbs is the most difficult part. I have an abundance of sage, basil, and thyme and a substantial amount of chives and rosemary. Fresh herbs can be expensive at the grocery store, but they make my food taste so much better. It's just a shame to lose them at the end of the season. I've tried bringing the pots into the kitchen for the winter, but they never last. This year I'm looking for tips on preserving fresh herbs.

I'm watching my container garden fade and I'm looking forward to May 2010 so I can start it again.

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