Transitioning Through the Seasons
We find ourselves at that special time of year—the transition from summer to autumn. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are still hot, and our hands reach across the seasons as we harvest seed from our earlier endeavors and prepare crops for the coming colder weather.
Most recently, we have been harvesting some of our biennial crops such as Detroit Dark Red beets (Beta vulgaris), Dragon carrots (Daucus carota), and Rosa de Roscoff Keravel onions (Allium cepa). These valiant plants started their lives in 2021, wintered over, and then produced seed for us this year. To learn more about biennials, read this article https://www.communityseedexchange.org/saving-seed-from-biennials. We have recently started collecting this year’s Newberg onion bulbs (Allium cepa). We store the best bulbs over winter to prevent rotting. They are replanted in late February. We will then finally collect the seed from onions in the summer
Our favorite Three Sisters crops, corn, beans and squash, still need more ripening and drying time before they are ready to harvest, although we just harvested the first of the dry bush bean—Tiger’s Eye (Phaseolus vulgaris). This year we are looking forward to gathering seed from Oaxacan Green Dent flour corn (Zea mays), Early Remix butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata)and numerous other dry bean varieties. You know autumn has arrived when these crops are ready.
Finally, we are getting ready to plant some cool weather crops. Simone Broadleaf kale (Brassica napus), Diva endive (Chichorium endivia), Cascade Glaze collards (Brassica oleracea) and Nozake Early Napa cabbage (Brassica rapa) are all on the menu for the upcoming cool and hopefully wet season. These baby plants will need some protection and coaxing through the hot transitional time until they are able to thrive in the seasons ahead.
So, from harvesting seed from plants sown in 2021, through planting crops that will bring us seed in 2023, our hands reach across the seasons in the garden as we continue to engage in this community project.