With Halloween at our doorstep, we are reminded that nature’s energy is once again turning inward and our popular summer crops are spent, slowly returning back to the soil. In our culture all too often we promote endless youth and growth, and avoid acknowledging the darker, dying and decomposing aspects of life, which actually hold the key to continued fertility. It’s time to remove all the stakes and twine used for trellising this year’s tomato crop; the last of the green beans will be picked this week; the Mexican corn is a reminder of summer days past; and many of the fields will be put to rest for the winter by seeding them with a legume-rich winter cover crop of purple vetch, bell-beans, peas and wheat.
I can’t deny how I wish I could stretch out the abundance of (and increased income associated with) popular summer crops over a longer period. On the other hand, I am seeing a nice transition to our favorite cool-weather crops: the broccoli, romanesco cauliflower, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and turnips will round out the last shares of the season. Happy Halloween!