While enjoying some stellar fall weather here on the Vineyard, I continue to follow the tract of Hurricane Ian on its frightening journey towards Florida’s west coast. We seem to have escaped a major hurricane for years — pure luck, I’m sure. I still have less than fond memories of Bob in the 90s.

It’s difficult to know exactly what needs to be done in garden world. As far as vegetables, there is still an amazing amount of wonderful food. Because

I did not get my tomatoes planted in a timely fashion last spring, I’m still picking an incredible amount. Between processing the juice and giving them away, it’s a daily task. A few weeks ago I mentioned that my bush beans had grown old and tired. Rather than yank them, I cut down to about four inches. They looked completely pathetic. They grew some leaves, sported some blooms and there are now baby beans that should be pickable within a week. Wonders never cease.

Speaking of beans, the pole varieties are past their prime but still green and “beany.” I boiled the pods briefly and slipped the still-green and tender beans out for a fresh bean soup. If I left them to dry on the plant, they could be saved for seed or, better yet, for soaking and baking this winter.

The Jimmy Nardello peppers are the only ones ripening. I should have planted the larger varieties in the hoop house for added heat. They are fine now green, but I like them red and sweet.

There is quite a bit of mold in the perennial beds. Phlox and monarda seem to have it worse than some. Oddly, my ancient phlox that are now almost in complete shade, thanks to tree growth over the years, have been blooming nonstop for two months with no moldy leaves at all — go figure!

Late summer/early fall is a good time for some reflection. The craziness of summer has subsided a bit. I feel relaxed that I have the whole winter ahead to regroup and re-think aspects of the garden and life itself.

Weeds/wildflowers are blooming and helping this relaxation process. Asters, boltonia and goldenrod are everywhere in various seed heads of grass.

It seems daunting to correct the undone tasks of summer and yet time ahead seems endless. Knowing me, I’ll probably wear myself out cleaning a couple of closets and hit the sofa for a while instead!

What a world!

Giorgia Meloni is now the first female prime minister of Italy. AS a young woman she became enamored by the far-right group Brothers of Italy, big supporters of the ideology of Benito Mussolini. Some think of him as the founder of Fascism.

Then, within weeks of her new term as prime minister, Liz Truss in the United Kingdom got a huge tax cut through Parliament and now the pound has plummeted.

Hopefully, we will be able to fend off the rightward trend in our own country and turn toward more social justice, environmental stewardship and actual Christian values. You know: feeding the poor and welcoming strangers — not up in other people’s private business.