But despite the piles on the counter, the piles on the table, and piles on my desk, here I am. I'm letting myself be okay with this because there's freshly picked, sliced and blanched carrots in the freezer, the second batch of veggies on the dehydrator in 24 hours, and canned pints of beets sealing as we speak.
It's obvious that our garden is behind by at least a few weeks, and I'm pretty certain that my 14 tomato plants this year have yielded the same amount that my 6 tomato plants did last year. All of this was made especially notable when last week's forcasted low was 26 degrees, an unseasonable low for us. I spent two evenings covering many square feet with every blanket and sheet I could get my hands on. I even went as far as pulling good sheets and blankets out of the house and going to the thrift store to buy more. (It's just a good thing I don't live near this one or there would have been a cat fight near the big shelf on the west wall.)
The kids and I harvested as many beets, carrots, and potatoes that we could that afternoon before I broke our pitch fork (Our soil is that hard right now.) And then I set out to put together the puzzle of blankets and sheets in such a way as to cover as much as possible.
With nearly 2000 square feet of total garden space, not counting the utter failure of a pumpkin patch, I still had to be choosy about what I wanted to save. Tomatoes and peppers were top priority along with a few flowers. I am beginning to feel ready for the gardening season to end - but not prematurely. I'm not giving up until we're all good and ready here.
The dog had to spend that night in the house otherwise she would have pulled all the blankets off my plants. When the alarm buzzed the next morning just before sunrise, I had no problems jumping right out of bed. I was eager to survey to the damage.
Everything I covered survived with just a few frozen leaves here and there. A few hardier plants pulled through with no covering at all, but everything else was done for.
Even with a smaller harvest than expected and an early frost, I've still got piles of produce waiting to be frozen, canned, or dehydrated that are stacking up quicker than the piles of produce that have been frozen, canned, or dehydrated.
But I'm not giving up. Not just yet.
Linking up to KinderGARDENS.