"Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire" The Bible, St. Matt. 7:19.
Be careful about what you try to cut down this month in your garden. Is that an asparagus fern, or a fuzzy chartreuse octopus, spilling out of its cave and reaching vainly for the purple plant? Vines wither, the seeds scatter. Where are the juicy tomatoes of yesteryear?
Colors soften and retreat into gray. I received a final blast of colors in my vegetable garden harvest this morning: slightly mad shades of gaiety, like the last guest to leave your party – a little odd and a bit too loud. But the green and purple peppers and eggplants harvested today, are gloriously alive in a cooler color range to match the chill morning mist. The same shades of chartreuse as the asparagus fern in my back yard.
Another unexpected harvest in the back yard. What vanished creature laid a fossilized egg amid my large succulent dish? Does the planter look like a dinosaur nest on a rock in my back yard? What prehistoric time traveler was here? We do not remember.
This is the season of forgetting. But, unlike the merciless advice in Matthew, I will cut down only what Nature decrees in my garden.
I removed gourd vines, planted some beet seed and rounded up the gaggle of gourds to be left in a cool dry place to dry for about 6 months.
I grilled the eggplant with garlic in toasted sesame oil and when it cools, I will process it into baba ganoush. Thanks to the visiting Master Gardener who stopped to chat and gave me the inspiration. He was paid in kind: several pomegranates, some limes and the ripest purple tomatillos.
In my yard and in the Veggie Garden, every tree is allowed to stand as long as it wants, regardless of the harvest it produces. Such trees pay us in their dying flash of beauty, rather than fruit. And they will remember to return next year, appearing perennially at harvest celebrations to come.