Here in Central CA we’ve slid into fall in quintessential fashion. Gradual cooling for the past couple weeks, mixed with occasional mild afternoon heat. Cool, dewy mornings, giving way today to blustery breezes for a good part of the first official day of fall.
The garden is just as typical of fall as today’s weather. Cucumbers and tomatoes have all but given up. Melons are dwindling after a raucously productive late summer. Cayenne and bell peppers are turning beautiful full red. The various varieties of eggplants are stalwart, maintaining their production in shades of white to deep purple. Winter squash and pumpkins have all been gathered and walnuts are ready to pick.
Just in the nick of time, as the summer bounty wanes and I’m feeling sated by summer squash and melons, the arugula and mustard are ready for bunching. Red Russian kale will follow. All three of these and more will soon go in salad and stir-fry; and when the rain and cold weather arrive there will be soup.
Spring arrives with anticipation and with excitement for the coming summer feast. Autumn’s onset is melancholy as tomatoes and sweet fruit give way to roots and greens. But every season brings its blessings… and soon there will be pumpkin pie.