I did some mad scrambling last weekend. The threat of our first frost was all over the airways. I picked all the peppers, eggplants and quite a few Sungold tomatoes. I made a huge arrangement of dahlias. I was saddened to think of everything gone for another season. I hoped I had enjoyed my garden enough over the summer.

Marie called Monday morning to report 32.9 degrees on her deck in Chilmark. I had a thin sheet of ice in the wheelbarrow. Wonder of wonders, all the tender plants survived. The zinnias and petunias are still happily blooming and I can still pick tomatoes.

We are so fortunate here on the Vineyard. The warm ocean is still moderating our fall temperatures. Granted, it works against us in the spring but who cares right now. Stay in the moment.

I cut all the hot pepper plants at soil level and hung them to dry. There are between 15 and 25 bright red jalapenos on each plant. Why I bother is a mystery. I’m not a big fan of super spicy food. One or two in a stock is about all I can handle.

I dragged in the agapanthus. Don’t ask me why. They rarely do as well the next season. I wrap them in burlap and place them in a shaded greenhouse but I must be doing something wrong. However, I am like a pit bull. It is extremely difficult for me to let go of anything, especially my old behaviors.

I finally got the baby chicks out of the house and into an outdoor pen. These are Cornish game hens which I allow to get quite large. It’s wonderful to have an eight pound bird in the freezer for the winter. It only takes three months to grow them that big.

Violet and I made our way up to the first winter farmers’ market and we are glad we did. It was great to see the year-rounders out. There was a cozy fire, hot food, live music and all sorts of local meat and produce. I believe it runs every Saturday until Christmas. It’s well worth the trip to the Ag. Hall.

Recently, there was an op-ed in the New York Times entitled Pesto? Hold the Pine Nuts. The article spoke of the Korean pine tree from which most of the world’s pine nuts are harvested. They grow in the temperate forests of southeastern Russia, and provide food for many of the region’s animals, including the Asiatic black bear. Because the nut is so important to the world’s food industry, it is being harvested to the possibility of mass extinction of several animal species in the area.

The piece went on to encourage folks to try cashews, walnuts or pistachios in our pestos. I confess I’ve used walnuts many times, especially given the price of pine nuts.

On the job sites, we are busy cutting back foundation plantings so they do not rub against the house over the winter. It is remarkable how much growth occurs in one season. Some of the hydrangeas needed to be cut by half as one could no longer see the windows.

I’ve had it with the Annabelle hydrangeas. I’m cutting them right to the ground. They bloom on new growth and will come back like crazy next year. They just look dreadful right now — all floppy and brown.

Be forewarned, you may not cut the others that aggressively. They will bloom on this year’s growth next year.

I’m sick of the Republican presidential candidates talking about the Democratic handing out “free stuff” to potential voters. We know they are talking about food stamps, housing vouchers and/or help with the utility bills. They fail to admit the free ride given to big oil, big agriculture and the big corporations. The fooling around with the tax code to benefit the already obscenely wealthy is business as usual. I believe the statistics are this: $70 billion spent on food stamps and $900 billion on tax breaks.

Look for more rhetoric from the likes of Jeb Bush. He took a page out of Ronald Reagan’s playbook — the infamous welfare queen scenario.