Today my heart is overflowing–mostly with gratitude, but also with a little aching. I’m just feeling all the feels, and it’s a net positive. Our son just left for a two-year mission to El Salvador as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He gets to teach los gentes Salvadore├▒os how to find peace in this life through Jesus Christ and his atonement. What a beautiful gift!!

And while Isaac is gone, life on the farm goes on. Nixon (our boy rabbit) will miss Isaac’s daily visits. Karen (our sheep) will miss him, too. Maggie (our mommy duck) will NOT miss Isaac, because he and Grant were the ones who caught her every day and put her back in the pasture.

Regardless of the tender hearts in our family today, we’re getting things done out in the garden. That picture of the overgrown radishes is actually our rutabagas. I harvested them today, and prepped them to be roasted (along with some other garden veggies) for dinner. I fed their tops to the rabbits. Our fridge is kind of overrun right now with beet greens. (A girl can only eat so many!) I wasn’t about to add more root veg tops to the collection.

And here’s our full garden. It looks so bushy and busy. I feel great about this year’s garden, but part of me wants to start planning next year’s garden. And maybe I will! I can observe now and incorporate what I’ve learned into next year’s garden. (My recent observation: Move the squash out to the pasture or the outer edge of the garden. It’s too big for inside a garden row.)

I did a brave and maybe stupid thing today. I lopped off some tomato branches so they would “no me molestan”. I kind of did the same thing with the squash. I’m going to be more intentional about pruning the tomatoes and squash next year. And maybe widen the spacing by 12″. Tomatoes and squash are space hawgs. Or maybe I’ll move the tomatoes to the area where the basil is this year. There’s definitely room to tuck in 3 or 5 tomato plants. I did another dumb thing (maybe?). I decided not to prune off the suckers on the tomatoes back in June. Oh wait, one more dumb thing–I bought all one variety of tomato this year (plus only two cherry tomato plants). Yeah, I made some colossal gardening mistakes, but maybe the Master Gardener and Creator of the Universe will answer my prayers and give me enough tomatoes to can homemade salsa. I neeeeeed it.