Goodness Grows in the Fall Garden.

I don't know why, but I'm always pleasantly surprised—amazed, even—when I plant seeds directly in the garden...

...and they actually grow.

Does this make me sound cynical? Perhaps a little. Instead, I like to think that I'm cautiously optimistic. With all of the wildlife surrounding our gardens, often I plant seeds knowing that I'm simply feeding some non-human creatures. So, I usually plant a little extra.

Two for the birds, one for the humans. Two for the mice, one for the humans.


Today, as I escaped the sickbay of our house and walked down to the large kitchen garden, the progress of the seedlings made my achy head feel a little better. Kristen, who has been home from school since Tuesday at noon with a tummy virus, kindly shared her germs with me.

Walking to the garden used all of my energy for the day. Plus some.

Three beds in the back garden contain fall crops, which are making decent progress. The other three beds are still producing cucumbers, peppers, and herbs, so those haven't been cleared yet. As soon as the garlic and onion sets arrive, though, the rest of the produce will be harvested, plants pulled and composted, soiled amended, and bulbs planted.

I also haven't touched the potager. It's still producing summer crops, but that, too, needs to be tackled.

But not today. I turned on the water, said hello to the chickens, and headed back inside to blearily tend my little couch potato.

Instead, I thought I'd share with you the fall varieties I'm growing in the first three beds. I've also set up a

Pinterest Board

if you'd like to see photos of each variety. All of the varieties are heirloom.

Bed 1

Brussels Sprouts ~ 'Long Island'Cauliflower ~ 'Early Snowball'Pac Choy ~ 'Prize Choy'Leek ~ 'Prizetaker,' 'Blue Solaise'Arugula

Bed 2

Swiss Chard ~ 'Silver Beet'Cabbage ~ 'Mammoth Red,' 'Cour di Bue,' 'Early Jersey Wakefield'Radish ~ 'Early Scarlet Globe,' 'Plum Purple,' 'French Breakfast'Lettuce ~ 'Forellenschluss,' 'Flame,' 'Lolla Rossa,' 'Grandpa Admire's,' 'Red Romaine,'  'Rouge d'Hiver,' 'Tennis Ball,' 'Amish Deer Tongue'

Bed 3

Peas ~ 'Amish Snap,' 'Tom Thumb,' 'Golden Sweet'Kale ~ 'Red Russian'Carrots ~ 'Parisienne,' 'Dragon,' 'Scarlet Nantes'Spinach ~ 'America,' 'Bloomsdale'Lettuce ~ 'Forellenschluss (Yep, I planted this in both beds. It's my favorite.) 'Merveille des Quartre Saisons,' 'Yugoslavian Red Butter,' 'Crisp Mint'

Still to plant:

Purple Sprouting BroccoliRomanesco BroccoliBeets

Garlic ~ 'Purple Glazer,' 'Music,' 'Inchelium Red,' 'Lorz Italian' French ShallotsOnionsSaffron Crocus

I also need to add the companion herbs around the perimeters of the beds to help repel cabbage worm, but that's a task for when my head recovers.

IF it recovers.

Hmmm...what am I missing? What is your favorite fall crop—and variety—to grow? Are there any of your favorites that I should add to our gardens?

Whew. It's time to head back to the couch. Honestly, the viral visitors are welcome to leave anytime.

I think we need an exorcism. Or an extra large bottle of Lysol.

Hope you have a happy, healthy weekend!