End of Another Gardening Season

        Three vegetable gardens occupy space in my life.  One is my own plot in the Devils Lake Community Gardens.   A second is the plot my husband’s 4-H club has – also at the Devils Lake Community Gardens.   The third, located on the Ramsey County Fairgrounds, is the plot used by the students in the kids’ gardening classes I teach each summer.

        Each has a different purpose and different plantings.  Our own vegetable garden holds numerous tomato and pepper plants and rows of onions which yield an abundance of veggies to turn into salsa and spaghetti sauce – two of my family’s favorites.  The 4-H plot is pumpkins – plain and simple - pumpkins.  At the end of the summer, each and every club member receives a pumpkin.  If it has been a really great year – it might even be two – one large and one small.  The kids’ class garden has crooked rows and plants that are sometimes too far apart and sometimes too close together as little hands learn the basics of gardening. The kids’ garden has tomatoes and pumpkins but has also contained orange sunflowers, white carrots, purple eggplant and assorted other unusual choices that the kids find intriguing.

        Whatever their content, all the gardens have two things in common – there are people about - especially the kids' garden during classes and at the end of the gardening season they need to be cleaned up!  Wire cages, wooden stakes, dead vines and too, too green tomatoes much go.  Planting time is exciting and involves lots of hands but clean-up time does not attract the same level of enthusiasm.  Or of assistance. 

Our weather is slated to move down to colder temps shortly and it is time to clean-up the gardens.  Is my own enthusiasm less due to fewer hands on deck or that it is the end of the growing season and I need to wait months before there are kids in the garden again?