Frost has come early this year, with two nights in the mid 20s. Usually it creeps in little by little, with at first a couple of light frosts with temperatures around 30º. Last year our first frost was on October 9th; this year a heavy frost came on September 15th, which is early but not unusual. The tomato plants are dead and removed from the garden, leaving some frosted tomatoes on the ground. I'll rake them up and put them on the compost pile.
No more zucchini either.
The corn plants have shriveled from the cold, the dried leaves making expressive gestures.
Sunflower heads hang heavy with seeds, a feast for small birds.
It is sad to say goodbye to the crops of summer, but the garden is far from finished. Now is the time for the vegetables that taste best after being frosted, even frozen. Brussels sprouts are one of the great treats of fall....
....as is kale, which gets sweeter with the cold. I've included brussels sprouts and, the wonderful, almost guilty pleasure, kale chips, in meals the past couple of nights.
When the weather cools, I switch from lettuce salads to cole slaw. Red cabbage is one of the prettiest plants in the garden.
I also love the structure of leeks, whose leaves grow in a stunning pattern, and may be based on the golden ratio, as in much of nature.
On the porch, protected from frosts, are my winter squashes. I love the switch from spring to summer to fall eating; each season has its delicious delights, making the changes welcome.