The summer gardening has slowed significantly.

I harvested all our pumpkins (the ones whose leaves were eaten by our wandering ducks.) Honestly, ducks are loud, messy and they eat the weirdest plants–but their cuteness wins every time. They stripped my front yard Sungold tomato plant of its last tomato harvest, but I couldn’t be mad. Watching them eat it was like a kindred spirit connection. They eat Sungold tomatoes like I eat them–the same way a sugar-crazed toddler eats the newly discovered stash of Halloween candy. As. Fast. As. Possible.

I also harvested a handful of leeks today. TBH, I don’t get leeks. They’re oniony and garlicky, but they’re not that special. Whatever. I made potato leek soup for tonight’s dinner, using our Red Pontiac potatoes. I think we ended up getting about 30-40 lbs from a little 3×10 area of potatoes. The plants on the verrrrry end were not productive, but the ones closer to the original garden site went gangbusters.

“Somewhere hidden in this potato leek soup is one red chili pepper…” This has been the running joke for every meal for the past couple weeks. Every meal has contained one chili pepper but no one knows where it is. Fun new tradition.

I’m loving our pepper plants. Thai chilis are gorgeous. Habaneros are a classic. Poblanos are a winner. I’ll get more in the ground next year so I can have some red Ancho peppers. The Jimmy Nardello peppers honestly disappointed. Overhyped. Next year will be the year of the pepper. I want sweet and hot peppers in abundance–in the same way the we had basil this year. Finally enough!! I’m thinking 30-40-50 plants so that we can use fresh, dehydrate, ferment, and can. Chilis/peppers are garden GOLD. I made my own roasted poblano hot sauce yesterday, y’all.

We’re also harvesting about 2 tomatoes a day. Those Italian Plum tomatoes took all summer to ripen, and then slowed down like crazy once temps dropped to mid-70s. Nighttime temps are upper 40s, but the Italian Plum tomatoes are like “nope.” The Juliet tomatoes are still going crazy, so are the Sungold. Just a wee bit slower. The plants are very healthy looking.

Beans were done weeks ago. Beets are huge. I just harvested rutabagas today. Carrots happened. Herbs are still going strong. Raspberries put on another flush of berries, which will be ready in a couple weeks.

All in all, great summer. I got lots preserved, and learned a TON. I haven’t planted much for fall, but if I do it’ll probably be kale, Asian greens, and an indoor basil plant.

We’re ready for fall!

Our potato leek soup (with dill, thyme, and sage), loved by all! See if you can find the hidden roasted Thai chili pepper.