Just a few weeks ago, I was reveling in the cool temperatures of Central Texas fall, when the garden began to flourish again after the punishing heat of the summer. Tomatoes, eggplant, jalapeños and even cucumbers flowered prolifically, while my cool season plantings of bok choy and chard were coming along nicely. That’s a sweet potato flower covered with dew in the photo above.
Then, the frost. We covered things up with sheets to prepare, but, alas, 27 degree temperatures, followed by similar lows the next night, were just too much for these tender plants to withstand. So, this afternoon, we started to salvage what we could, beginning with the sweet potatoes and continuing with the slightly-blushing or fallen tomatoes, the eggplants, the jalapeños and one tiny watermelon. With no freezes predicted, I’m hoping something will happen with the rest of the tomatoes, but, meanwhile, I should probably research what to do with green ones.
The most exciting part of the harvest was digging deep for the sweet potatoes and coming up with a bounty — especially compared to the anemic Irish potatoes. These things really flourished — the greens were just the start of what they’ll provide us with this year. I spotted a yummy-looking sweet potato cobbler recipe recently that I’d love to try.
It’s a bit sad to say goodbye to the plants I tended all summer: the bountiful basil that yielded lots of pesto; the cute and sweet white cherry tomatoes; the bumpy little cucumbers; and the riotous sweet potatoes. But that’s the turn of the season. Everything’s happening just as it should. And I’m just along for the ride.