September is a bitter sweet month for an urban gardener. The plants are still rich with fruit, but the leaves are brittle and dry. Yes, we've got a new crop of eggplants hanging like globes on green stems. Peppers are sprouting anew and cherry tomatoes are still going strong. But there is in the air the knowledge that time is not on their sides. Despite the 90 degree days this weekend, a frost will inevitably come. Even without the chill of autumn, the days get shorter as the sun begins to wane. Though the tomato plants continue to flower, even they seem to know deep down that these shoots will come to naught. Instead of producing, the flowers will wither and die.
So, as I survey the glut of red fruit sitting on my kitchen counter, prepare my gazpacho and wonder how we'll eat the rest, I know that the end of summer is the end of gardening season. The wind will pick up, the cool air will come and the bounty of the harvest will give way to store bought produce.