Jay and I cleaned out our community garden plots today. We pulled up the brussels sprouts to make room for garlic - too bad, it would have been nice to get them closer to Thanksgiving. The good news is that we planted seven varieties of garlic (200 cloves this year!) I used my own garlic from last year, and added two softneck varieties. A softneck failed on me in 2010, but I thought I'd try again with some that was actually grown in Wisconsin.
We also harvested parsnips, which was a first for me. I am very pleased with the harvest. They too could have stayed in the ground for later harvesting, but it's much easier having two people to harvest them, one nudging them with a spade and the other gently pulling them up. We broke most of the tips, but didn't lose much "food." I love roasted parsnips, but what are we going to do with all of these???
We have lots of kale still in the plot (if it survives Sunday night's plunge to 28 degrees F). This year's lesson for next? More beets. Less kale. We've been eating a lot of kale chips, and I've traded kale (one big bag for peaches, another bag for blackberries). We're going to blanch and freeze some this week.
Finally, the ethical question.
We knew that tonight's temperatures will plunge to 28 degrees. That's not a frost, that's a hard freeze. Looking around the garden, there was a lot of produce that would be mush in the morning. Tomatoes, peppers, even some summer squash. It'll all be ruined in the morning.
So... dear readers. Here's the question.
Is it ok to go into other people's plots and harvest food that tomorrow will be useless?
I'd love to hear your answers.