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This may be the last home picked salad of the year. It’s a simple Italian affair (not that Italian affairs are ever simple) with basil, parsley, black seeded Simpson lettuce, and salami & provolone from the store. No, I do not have a cheese tree yet, and no, I did not grind up the flesh of an animal and stuff it with spices into the animal’s own entrails to create salami. I buy salami. I’m lame like that.

This may be the last salad because I failed to build cold frames this year. The mild regret I’m feeling is well-tempered by happiness that the season of ass-busting work is almost over. As much as I love the ardor and arduousness of spring and summer, the repose of fall is calling me now.

Contemplation is on the horizon. Curling up with a cat and hot sake is my goal after the leaves are mulched. Work in autumn is never frantic, never urgent. If you put off cutting down that Armenian cucumber another day, nothing bad will happen…

Except this!

That is not a banana slug migrated from the Pacific Northwest, it is a giant mutant cucumber that I am scared of and will definitely not be eating. Here my husband, my lovely blogging hand model, demonstrates the girth of the beast:

I’m not proud of this abomination. What I’m really proud of is that when I handed it to my husband I remembered to say, “Feel the weight.”

Fall is here, winter is coming, and I get to rest and dream and plan next year’s garden. I have learned an incredible amount through this year’s garden experience. I’ve eaten lots of delicious organic (non-mutant) food. I got lots of vitamin D. I took hundreds of pictures. I had fun.

Now, it’s time to stay warm and get covered with cat hair.