The dahlias were going strong for last Saturday’s market, the last of the season. Snapdragons, too, have been plentiful — to make up for the late start I gave them. I’ve come to enjoy gathering these weekly bouquets and putting together flowers for people in the middle of the week too. Here at the end of the year I make notes for what to add and drop next year. So yes to the smaller dahlias, yes to zinnias, ageratum, snapdragons, nigella, larkspur (try to get some succession plantings of these going), China asters, Chinese forget-me-not, celosia. No to the Gloriosa daisies (too hard to blend with others), no to salipsiglossis. Yes to more perennial flowers for cutting. Not sure about sunflowers.
The vegetable harvest was as good and bountiful as it has been all season, with brussels sprouts leading the way. Tomatoes are still trickling in, but they are pretty much finished. The carrot crop is grand, and the haricots vert are out of this world tender and delicious. Peppers are plentiful. The late lettuce has been lovely. Kale and chard continue. Young leeks are tender. Even my last fennel bulbs. Lots of broccoli side shoots and we still have gorgeous heads of cabbage.
Of course the market is about the people as much as the flowers, food and produce. Thank you to everyone who came all summer, during the high season crushes and here at the end, when there was space and time for conversation. I have loved being able to grow vegetables and flowers for neighbors and summer visitors. My farm notes for next year include trying to step up production in July and August when we have an abundance of visitors, so we have enough arugula and lettuce and whatever is coming in then. This was a hard year as our spring was so wet and cold plantings were delayed or slowed (hence the bizarre reality that I did not have any zucchini or squash at all because I simply did not get it in the ground).
Even Julie and Betsy, the dynamic duo at the checkout counter, had time to tell stories and natter at the beginning of the market. (Probably they are discussing Dragon business, as they are the team that produces The Saint George Dragon (http://stgeorgedragon.com).