I finally did it!!! I grew a vegetable as big as my head!!! Or nearly so.
It was a lovely afternoon, sunny with very little wind, high in the fifties, so I spent some time harvesting the last of the root vegetables and planting garlic. I don't know what I am going to do with this giant rutabaga, or if it will taste good at all, but I can always feed it to the chickens. Besides rutabagas, I had carrots, a few parsnips (which is better than I've ever done with them), and Kennebec and Katahdin potatoes, both fairly productive white fleshed, yellow skinned taters. Here's the harvest:
The soil in the garden beds was delightfully cool and moist and earthy smelling. I still have some lettuce, Swiss chard and cilantro that survived the fifteen degree low temp this morning, and my experimental "winter greens" bed with spinach, kale, and lettuce.
There's something so melancholy about putting the garden to rest for the winter, but at the same time planting for next year. This is my second year doing it here, so it's almost a ritual. I was moving about as if in prayer, the sun hanging low in the southern sky and casting long shadows with its still radiant warmth.
Now...anyone have any good rutabaga recipes? :)
By the way...the garden trowel, visible in the picture of the rutabaga, I made in my seventh grade obligatory metal shop class. Still useful, and I did end up getting an "A" in the class!