Goodbye Summer or Hello Fall?
I can never decide whether to think of Labor Day weekend as Summer’s grand finale or Autumn’s grand opening. Maybe it’s just a reminder of constant movement; which is actually fitting since the holiday was created to celebrate the achievements of American workers, who have been world renown for busy-ness, innovation and efficiency since colonial times. One thing all Americans seem to believe in, although we may never find a practical way to express it in unison, is the value of meaningful work with continued improvement.
Labor Day Garden Chores
That’s how it goes in the garden…always seeking ways to grow more, using less labor and fewer outside inputs, and enjoying the heck out of both the process and the fruits of our labor. We have already started harvesting sweet potatoes; pretty soon scallions and garlic will take over that spot. Where cowpeas are flourishing at the moment, lettuce will soon sprout. This weekend we will seed turnips on ground that was left bare after removing squash a couple of weeks ago. In preparation for our favorite gardening season, here are a few other tasks we will check off this Labor Day weekend:
- Using the stockpiled grass clippings, weeds and spent vegetable plants, build a nice new compost pile.
- Transplant broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, chard and cabbage into the garden.
- Directly sow turnips, radishes, beets, carrots, spinach and lettuce seed.
- Cane the raspberries and blackberries.
- Harvest sweet potatoes and store for curing.
- Make okra pickles.
- Make tomato jam from the hundreds of cherry tomatoes in the freezer (we pop tomatoes, skin and all, in the freezer when things get busy. You can process them for sauces, jam, etc later….it’s a great time saving tip!)
- Make another batch of hot pepper sauce
- Make apple something (not sure what quite yet, but we have two bushels to work with).
- Enjoy a few beverages