Everything is bolting: lettuce, kale, turnips, cabbage, and the broccoli. In years past these plants would have already been removed from my garden before they got to this stage, but the tomatoes were slow to start this year, so I let them be to do their thing. There is something reassuring about watching these vegetables each make their effort to produce seed, like they would be fine without me. I contemplated leaving in a single broccoli plant and collecting its seeds. All of my Brassicas bloomed at different times, so there was no fear of cross-pollination. But, I could see the aphids taking over and discovered I would need a few more months for mature seeds, and decided it was time to pluck out the winter crops and replace them with warm season delights.
Like the change of seasons from summer to fall, this is a do or don’t time of year for me. While I let the last of the cool season crops feed us for a few more weeks, I get anxious to replace them with beans, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. It is a practice of knowing when and of patience. It is a dance. I want to pull, pull, pull thinking it will be too late to sink in those heat lovers. But, then I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that the growing season is long. I have through October. I take another deep breath and enjoy the last few peas, the last few leaves of kale, will the garlic stocks to get just a little bit fatter, and smell the sweet pea flowers. In just a few short weeks these things will be just memories to hold until the cool weather returns.