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The October Garden

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner. One thing gardening has taught me is to not “count my chickens before they hatch”. There are so many variables in gardening that we just cannot control that I try not to get my hopes up at the beginning of a season. I just have to do what I can and leave the rest up to God. 

Another thing that gardening has taught me is that this season will end and there will always be another season. And that new season, just like this ending season, will be full of both goodness and disappointment – sometimes at the very same time. Just like life. 

I’m learning to just be content and accept whatever our garden gives us. If something doesn’t make, well…there’s always next season. If something over produces, we can bless others. While we try to eat the vast majority of our vegetables from our garden, I refuse to let that self-imposed goal define me or us as a family. 

So, welcome to our perfectly imperfect October garden…

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

I see this Meyer lemon tree when I look out my kitchen window and it’s the first thing I see when go out back. It’s abundant this year. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

And right next to it I see the Cara Cara orange tree that has been doing so well…until last weekend when we got over 5″ of rain in two days. Now, it has less than 20 leaves. I have no idea if it will survive or not. We lost all our peach and one plum tree to too much rain earlier this year. This is a disappointment.

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

Abundance and disappointment side by side. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

We have 2 birdhouse gourds this year. I bought a plant on clearance from our local grocery store early in the summer for .25, I’m happy we have two. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

Why yes, there really is a garden among the weeds.

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

This volunteer tomato plant came up in our front yard near our neighbor’s property. Gabriel noticed it when he was mowing. We moved it to the garden last week and it’s adjusting well. The bounty. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

Our Chinese cabbage was doing so well last week. This week, disappointment. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

We have an infestation of these little bugs which I believe to be cucumber beetles. See how much fun they are having munching on our cabbage? I’ve never seen this bug before and apparently is nothing to mess around with so I’ve been practicing some hand to hand combat and squishing them. I also decided to put our bug zappers out in the garden for the night. I’m hoping to find a pile of dead cucumber beetles in the morning. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

This is our regular cabbage which the beetles haven’t found yet. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

Our swiss chard. I only planted a few plants instead of a whole bed. My family just won’t eat a whole lot of it, so I’m taking the pressure off by not planting much. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

We sowed kale seeds last week right before the storm came through. Although my family doesn’t like a lot of kale, we do like it in smoothies. I also like to dehydrate it and make a powder to add to rice, soup, eggs or whatever I’m cooking. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

These sweet peas are in the same bed as the Chinese cabbage, apparently they aren’t as tasty as the cabbage is because the bugs are leaving them alone. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

Our lettuce bed is doing wonderful. I’m go happy to not have to buy lettuce for a while. Abundance at it’s best. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

This is the first time I’ve planted a fall crop of green beans and I’m so glad I did. They are such a treat and even though we don’t have enough for a meal when we pick, we add carrots and onion to them and that makes enough. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

So, I thought broccoli and broccoli raab were the same, apparently not. This is broccoli rabe and I’d better get some regular broccoli planted soon or my family is going to be disappointed. But the broccoli rabe is looking good. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

We have flowering basil all over the garden. The bees have so enjoyed the flowers and now we have lots of seeds to gather for next year. I just love how easy basil is to grow. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

We have 2 full banana pepper plants and one Thai pepper plant left from our summer planting. Abundance again. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

Our little elderberry tree is doing great, although I noticed today that the chickens have been scratching around it. We need to put some fencing around it. A friend rooted this for me from her tree and I’m hopeful that in a year or two we’ll have our own elderberries. 

The October garden in zone 9 is full of abundance and disappointment all at the same time. The cool weather crops are sprouting and brought in for dinner.

This is our October garden, abundance and disappointment all at the same time. What is in your October garden? 

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Thanks for sharing with your friends!

Kelli Smith

Saturday 31st of October 2015

I really needed a post like yours today! Its been raining and windy here in the Pacific Northwest and my vege garden is definitely turning in for the winter. My family has been sick and I just haven't been able to weed so grass and weeds are growing where they shouldn't. It is still a wonder sometimes what makes it through the cold or what volunteers are coming up regardless. Your post was encouraging and real... I appreciate that!

Angi Schneider

Sunday 1st of November 2015

I'm so glad this encouraged you. A person can only do so much and especially when there is a illness running through the family. Hopefully next season will be better.

Jen Keith

Friday 30th of October 2015

Weeds shmeeds! Your garden looks great and I too am loving the abundance of basil this year for our kitchen and the bees! Sorry about your fruit trees though, that is a bummer.

Angi Schneider

Friday 30th of October 2015

Isn't basil the best! I wish everything were that easy to grow. Here's to next season!