Every year when the vegetable garden freezes it’s a combination of sadness and relief. The vegetables grow in what I guess is called a frost pocket because nothing was lost around my house or on many of the job sties. As luck would have it, I managed to do a big picking right before the night of the freeze. I still had some green beans, tomatoes and peppers. Now all those plants are gone. It can be time now to pull them up and settle in for another down season. Hence the relief.

I still need to plant my garlic. I am using the defunct tomato beds for it. I had planned to use my extra bulbs harvested in July to replant for next summer. Good thing as many places have already sold out, especially of my favorite varieties. Remember, the hard neck types do not store as reliably so use them first.

The same is true for the sweet types of onions like Ailsa Craig or Sweet Spanish. If you want a good supply of the crop to last until spring use Cortland Patterson or Copra. Copra are becoming hard to find as the first two have replaced them in most seed catalogs.

It’s against my nature but I think I may order seeds early this year. I usually like to pour over seed catalogs in January with a cup of tea on a cold, hopefully snowy day. More and more folks are starting gardens now in the time of Covid. This is one good outcome of this deadly pestilence.

The New York Times on Sunday had a tiny article and photo of people in cars waiting in line at food banks. It is so sad on so many levels. Imagine wasting gas money inching forward with unhappy hungry children for food you probably don’t even like.

I was thinking about all the food shows on TV. While it’s fun to see trendy, expensive produce prepared in fancy ways, why doesn’t someone come up with a practical alternative, like how to prepare something with very little money, purchased at, say, a local convenience store that would be filling and nutritious. Many people in America cannot go to Whole Foods. During the show, perhaps a few tips on growing something could be shared. For example, the root of a celery placed in a jar of water will regrow leaves. Many rural poor have forgotten their farming roots. Let’s refresh their memories.

The window boxes at the Bunch of Grapes are stunning. They are a nice welcome to Main street in Vineyard Haven when coming down the hill on Spring street.

I have bachelor buttons blooming which have reseeded since spring. They really perk up the end of season flower beds.

It is hard to recognize Violet’s photo this week. It is a particular weed that I still cannot properly name. It spreads like crazy, smells awful and resembles a geranium leaf. Years ago I worked for Gratia Harrington. She was one of the daughters of Capt. George Eldridge (Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book). She lived to the age of 104. My job was to stand behind her and pick up weeds tossed aside from her wielding of a hoe and her cane. One of those weeds was in the aforementioned photo. She called it Robin Run Over the Ground.

Violet and I voted this week. I have never done it early before. I must say it was completely wonderful. No lines and Covid safe. The workers were friendly and helpful. I feel so bad for many for whom this will not be pleasant. Already there are hours of waiting at too few polling stations. Voting is a sacred right of Americans. People fought long and hard for that right. Why are certain politicians making it so difficult. Wait, I know. They are cheaters!