Surprise and Sadness in Mid October

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It’s mid October and the pickins’ are still good…
Actually, the pickins’ are really good!
It has been relatively warm this past week so we have been lucky.
I came out this morning to pick a few tomatoes and I found a lot more than I bargained for…a tub of tomatoes, lots of beet greens (will make a nice frittata), a few eggplant and some sweet carrots.
I love when you think summer is over and this happens!  Look at what else is still growing…

My climbing beans are beginning to dry (which is what I want because I will shell them and keep them for soup throughout the winter) but today, I found a whole bunch of flowers! That generally means there will be more beans but I don’t think so – especially this late in the season.
But at least they are pretty…
Look at these beauties!!
Imagine all of this in mid October!
I found this strawberry peeking through a bunch of weeds…I remember planting a few strawberry plants in the ground and I thought they didn’t survive (that’s why I keep a plant growing in a pot through the summer).  I will cover it with hay and hope it bears fruit next year!
And this lot??  This is what I picked off the ground!  Imagine…I have gathered about 3 times this amount just from apples that have fallen from the trees.  I removed any damaged parts and then I peeled and sliced them.  I have made and frozen 2 small Ziploc bags of homemade apple pie filling, 1 large Ziploc of sliced apples and 2 large apple crisps…and I haven’t even picked any apples off of the trees yet!
The cherry tomatoes are doing well…really benefiting from the warm spell we have been having!  Hopefully, without a frost anytime soon, they will keep on ripening.
The tomatoes that are left on the vine need as much help ripening (if we are going to leave them on the vine).  So, I took the time to remove as many of the dead branches as possible (I was a bit lazy in removing the “suckers” while they were growing) – you need as much of the nutrients to get to the fruit , especially this late in the season when the days get shorter and the weather cools, making sure the goodness from the ground is not wasted going to branches that have no use.  This tomato stalk above has been cleaned of any branches that have no fruit, with the hopes that the nutrients will go right where it is needed.
And, if you have any tomatoes that have grown astray, make sure they aren’t lying on the ground (with the cool nights and extra moisture, they will rot there).  Either prop them up on a plastic tub (like an empty yogurt container)  or just place them on the edge of your garden bed like this.
And now for the sadness…this is where my beans were 🙁
But, I found happiness when I rescued this lot to keep as planting beans for next spring.
There is always a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow if you look hard enough!