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Feels Like Fall

Monday, October 01, 2007

Fall is here and I can feel it in the air.  Many of Berkeley's trees are starting to loose their leaves, and our weather is alternating between warm days with clear, sunny skies and cool, foggy days with an occasional (unusually early) drizzle.  I have been starting to think about fall plantings lately, but except for a small package of snow pea seeds sown last week, I haven't really started to transition the garden to "fall" yet.  I'm still trying to nurse the summer plantings along through their last month or so of productive harvest.

As usual, our lemon trees have been continuing to do well.  We picked over 10 pounds of fruit in the last two weeks and used it to cook at home, make sorbet for a friend, and gave lemons as gifts to a fellow gardener without a productive tree.  Our summer berries are also continuing to produce tasty nibbles.  My children are enjoying a few strawberries here and there, and a cup or two of red raspberries each week.  Our cherry tomatoes are still doing pretty well, too, with about 6-7 cups of tomatoes in the last two weeks.  And the scarlet runner beans are still producing a fairly small number of pods.

One of my favorite late summer crops, cape gooseberries (also known as ground cherries), are really thriving now.  Their tangy sweet/sour berries are bright orange and delicious.  They are fairly unusual in Berkeley and almost all of the adult visitors to my garden are new to them.  In addition to their bright color and tropical taste, I enjoy the crackling sound of their crunchy "paper lanterns" as they are harvested and then pealed and eaten. 

We are also still enjoying the first "big" harvest from our young gala apple tree, now four years old.  I think I just picked its last apple today--that makes a total of 26 pieces of fruit this year!  Not bad considering that last year's harvest only had 2 apples!  Maybe we'll have enough for baking next year?!  Our granny smith apples are still on the tree.  I think they will be better if I wait a few more weeks to pick them.  Stay tuned!

All opinions expressed are my own.
Copyright 2007 Sharon Danks