The last of the summer squash
In New Zealand, we are leaving summer for winter. Many of you will be enjoying the opposite transition. But it all comes around again as we wear shorts while barbecuing Christmas dinner on the deck.
This was the last gasp from a vine at the end of its life.
For some weeks I saw only many many small female blooms and tiny squash, with no male blossoms to pollinate them. (Human women often outlive their men, too.) So the tiny squashes fell off, one by one, still tiny.
But one morning I spotted an open male and female flower and pounced! I hand-pollinated this as I have done others during the season. I had low expectations, because I'd already failed in an earlier pollination. It was a small success, but a delicious one.
I have enjoyed my garden this summer although it is not my favourite way to work hard. I learned so much, including the phases and genders of summer squash blossoms.
And see all the bounty from the earth?
I've also shared plants with others: as the strawberries sent out runners and the parsley went wild, other people got to dig up free fresh healthy plants for their own gardens.
I hoped to plant lots of our favourite winter vegies like broccoli or cauliflower, but for now, we must settle for our ever present rhubarb and a celery planted at a Small Poppies session.
As the tomatoes shivered on the vine, I couldn't resist rescuing a couple of new volunteers for an experiment in indoor growing in our sunniest location.
I hope to have a winter tomato crop to display.
From the personal to the political
Here we read about gardening not just as fun, learning, and exercise, but as a crucial skill to relearn in the face of a changing and dangerous global food culture.
When they start parcelling out our local park, Madills Farm, as a farm again, I'll be down there with my spade!