First Frost

The big news this week here on the farm was the season’s first frost. It had dipped close to freezing most nights since last Wednesday, and although the forecast for the last week called for right around 35 as a low, on Friday evening it must have gotten just a tad bit colder in our spot. We woke Saturday morning to frost on all things green on the farm. Not a big surprise, and at a fair time in the year. In my mind, though, I always hope for the first frost to come after Halloween–October should be chill, but I like to hold onto the last of summer’s growth through this first fall month. I think this comes for our first experience working on a farm (and the only one we had aside from our backyard farm in Nebraska). Technically it wasn’t we, as I was then a blissfully new mother to our first child, just 3 months old at the time. Andre worked with two other energetic young farmers on a seasonal pumpkin patch. The fields of pumpkins were beautiful in the chilly Colorado fall, but the big concern was that it not freeze before Halloween since it was a pick your own patch and there wasn’t the option of just picking the pumpkins and storing them. I am not sure why I still have this association, our pumpkin and winter squash harvest were done and all had ripened up completely by the first week of October. The summer crops were already on the fast track to the end of their production cycle already, so the frost only brought to a close what was almost at an end already. Still, it is a shift. We will still see some of the fruits of those summertime wonders for this week and possibly next week if our large bell pepper harvest stores for a week. But this will absolutely be the last week of cucumbers, there were no summer squash to save so last week was our last taste of those, the green beans have been done for a few weeks now, the eggplant were barely around as it stood this summer …so it is just the peppers and tomatoes for a few more weeks. Summertime is so abundant, and fall and winter are too, in their own way. But as we cherish the last of these vegetables that only grow when the days are long and the nights are warm, we realize how short the time is in a year when we are blessed with these amazingly prolific tastes. It is about eight months until the fast pace of summer production brings us the cooling taste of fresh cucumber, the grilled cocozelle zucchini with salt and olive oil (my go to taste of heaven this summer), the juice of tomatoes running down the corners of our mouth, and the liberal use of bell peppers with our garlic and onion as the start of any saute. And yet, the sweetness that nature brings to our table in these cooler months is just as exciting as the flavors we get to experience in summer. So, on we move to tastes of winter squash and frost sweetened greens and root crops, and towards the coming celebrations of the bounty of another year and the hope for peace. The quiet of fall is here!

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