Sunday, November 18, 2012


Still there are flowers blooming.  Still only the slightest frost the other night and no real freeze yet.  Everything is lingering, long and slow going down.  Still leaves hang on trees, red, gold, even green.  Still peppers are ripening on the plants, covered on the coldest nights with a little blanket of remay, hanging only half way down the 5 foot tall plants.  But its been enough to keep them going.  Still several dozen peppers out there. 

In earlier years we would rush and pick all the peppers at the first sign of frost, no matter how small, no matter how green.  Then we learned that wasn't necessary.  Pick the ripest ones and wait, they will keep going, often to November or later.  And if you grow peppers and you don't know this you should.  Put the under ripe ones in a brown paper bag with the top folded over and leave them at room temperature and they will ripen up over the course of the next few weeks, just don't forget to check them now and then and put the ripe ones in the fridge.  I really don't like green peppers at all, so I want all my peppers to ripen fully to red, yellow, or orange.

How swell to continue to have roses in November.  Still a few flowers here and there, adding color.  The mums are finally withering and I've begun to cut them back and weed beneath them, they harbor all sorts of little weed seedlings hiding under the fallen stems. The forever job of weeding and mulching, never ending. 
Ginger lilies, I have been cutting them and bringing them in, they give off a light gingery scent and continue to open.  The torpedo like buds hang down on a spindly thread, somehow they have the strength to lift up and another flower opens into miraculous bloom.

Still I am waiting for the leaves to come on down so that I can start raking and cleaning up in earnest.  Still there is wood to cut and split.  Still there are gutters to clean.  I took a coil of our local hot Italian pork sausage from the freezer today, tonight- stuffed peppers for supper with a fresh green salad. Still happy to be alive, lucky to be in this place, grateful for the bounty, despite the chores that still remain.

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