In the mid-September kitchen garden, corn, beans, winter squash and potatoes are at the end of their growing cycles, their dry and yellowed stalks and vines destined for the compost pile. In the greenhouses, the last of the ripening tomatoes hang near the top of wilting vines and remaining eggplants and peppers still glow purple, red, orange and yellow though their leaves are tattered. These warmth-loving plants promise a few more meals before cold weather cuts off their production.
In contrast to these drying, end-of-summer plants, the foliage of fall and winter crops is lush and green. In early morning walks in the kitchen garden, my husband Scott has captured the beauty of leeks, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, turnips, chard and kale. While it’s sad to come to the end of the summer kitchen garden, the freshness of these fall and winter plants and the anticipation of meals they’ll provide temper the change from one season to the next.