Stage 2...Tomatoes & Squash exit stage right

This past weekend the three of us tackled more of the garden.  It had become apparent that the tomatoes, grapes and winter squash were done for the season. No surprise there since we are on the second week of October.  Of course, the weather seems to be attempting to contradict that fact as Wunderground is reporting it is a balmy 86 degrees outside as I write this.  Our preliminary housing inspection is coming up this week so we decided we might as well take the raised beds apart, throw them out to the street to be picked up with the trash.
My son and I went armed with garden shears and chopped, chopped, chopped.
 All but four tomato plants are now gone.  Almost all the winter squash plants are gone.  The grapevines were cut down to almost the ground as we fear the housing office would require their removal.  I would love to see the new occupants of this unit when they realize next summer that they have grapes.

The eggplants have suddenly woken up and are all producing so any plant that was bearing fruit was left alone.  At last count, we have about 6 fist sized or larger eggplants here and there throughout the garden.  I have a feeling I'm going to be tired of eating eggplant soon.
The cucumbers are also gone, not that they seemed to do much this season. I got one single pint of my highly desired cornichons.  I'm kind of disappointed at that.  We left the acorn squash vine alone as well.  It has one baseball sized squash on it and I want to see if it will grow a bit more.

My son and I had a bit of a sad moment when we uncovered the dead catnip that we planted last spring for our cat, Mittens. Mittens too is as gone as the catnip.  A year ago she passed away after a long life of 18 years.  We still miss her.  All these plants will be gone within two weeks, the only evidence of their existence will be the soil that amazingly enough will grow flowers or vegetables easily for some future occupant.  We wonder if they will even notice.
Harvest October 05, 2013
The last bit to be harvested, and we have a sneaking suspicion it will be a large one will be the sunchokes.  The MASSIVE sized, 15 foot tall at least, sunchokes.  This is where I think we will hit paydirt this year.
As we lightly raked the soil anywhere even close to these monsters, we came up with sunchoke tubers. These preliminary harvests will be cooked up for tonight's dinner along with Rabbit Braised in Red Wine sauce and roasted beets and orange slices.  
Many of the tubers will be given away as gifts to our family as we travel from Northern Maryland to our new(old) home, Fairbanks, Alaska. 

Soon this chapter of our life ends, we all are growing anxious as we know moving day is approaching. At this point, I almost just wish for the ability to speed up time and get it over and done with.  


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