We’ve had several chilly nights recently. It’s great for sleeping with an extra blanket. The bad news, for me, is I had a light freeze at the big garden. The basil was completely blackened but the peppers and tomatoes still have a bit of life left in them. This garden is located in a frost pocket away from any water.

Speaking of tomatoes, it’s official: I’m sick of them. I have enough sauce put up for at least a year and have eaten them fresh every way possible. I can happily wait until next summer for more. I never buy or eat them off-season.

I have not had the best of luck with shallots planted in the fall. They simply do not hold up in storage. Conversely, the ones I started from seed in February along with the onions are great. They are large and still firm.

Poison ivy and bittersweet are actually pretty right now with their fall colors. A word to the wise: never cut them for an arrangement. It’s obvious about poison ivy but the bittersweet berries will grow new plants if discarded into a compost pile.

My crabapples have formed attractive fruits. Any day now, birds will discover them.

Now is a great time for moving perennials and shrubs around. Resist the temptation to fertilize the new plantings as it could force new, tender growth that is subject to freezing.

I do apply lime to the vegetable garden as debris is cleared. It will sweeten the soil and be ready by spring.

My daughter re-did the hoop house. It needed new paths and some serious weeding. I spent some time planting this week — field peas for salad shoots, carrots and lettuce.

I’ve had good luck with carrots planted mid-fall under some protection, i.e. plastic. They are pickable by February. The waning light does not seem to bother them, unlike the hens who have stopped serious egg production. I’m lucky to get two a day now. But by Christmas, when the light changes ever so slightly, they get right back to business.

My friend Sharlee reported the picking and pickling of her beets. Some were larger than softballs. This is the Lutz variety also known as winter keepers. Unwashed, they will keep in the refrigerator until the new year. They do not survive many freezes. They tend to get mushy by Christmas if left in the field.

I spent all day Tuesday (nicest wether we’ve had in months, by the way) driving around to various job sites and yanking geraniums from pots and window boxes. I can’t bear to see them freeze. With very little roots, I trim the tops within an inch of their lives and place three or four in a Belden-sized pot. They always live through the winter in an unheated back room (about 40 degrees) and are good for another season.

The Herschel Walker situation in Georgia tells you everything you need to know about the current Republican party. Like Hershel Walker, they do not support babies once they are born but they still have the audacity to claim Christian values.

I had to drag out the King James for the exact quote in Matthew 18:6: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

There you have it!