Mist hangs low over the ground this morning; on my prebreakfast walk, a doe and her two fawns materialized like slender ghosts. Spiders have decorated my front porch, lawn, and garden with their glistening, intricate webs. They’re a good six weeks early for Halloween, but I’m enjoying their beauty nonetheless.

The tomato vines appear tired and may have contracted a disease (it’s hard to pinpoint which one) thanks to insect damage creating entry points in the fruit. Yields tend to decline as the season draws to a close, anyway; we’re just coming to the end a bit early this year. Tomorrow – or possibly next Friday – will likely be your last chance for ripe tomatoes! I’ll wait at least until next week to begin picking green ones, I think (mmm, fried green tomatoes).

The bean and zucchini beds have been cleared out, and I sowed winter rye in the first two beds. They look barren now, but in the coming weeks verdant blades will sprout, and by winter I should have lush patches of rye holding the soil in the beds until early spring, when it will be cut down to provide nutrients to young vegetable seedlings.

The garden is still producing, though, with the jalapenos finally ripening en masse, and I hope to get them in the dehydrator this weekend. That means you should see hot salt return to the market soon!

As the jalapenos swell, the butternut squashes are beginning to turn from green to orange, and the sweet potatoes remain a mystery under the soil. I’ll harvest the latter two in October before frost threatens, then let them cure to sweeten their flavor and ensure they store through the winter. I have brassicas (broccoli, collards, kale), too, struggling along under row cover, though time will tell how my little experimental patch turns out.

At the New Market Farmer’s Market tomorrow afternoon, you will find what might be the last of the tomatoes, as well as plenty of garlic, some fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, thyme), and the usual handmade items. We might have a new vendor joining us, so come welcome her to the market! As always, keep an eye on the farmer’s market Facebook page for weather updates.