I do not know the fate of the shiso just yet. It’s still hanging in there, covered now if the wind hasn’t uncovered it (which is what happened previously, so my lack of attention wasn’t disastrous). There are seeds in the little cups on its flower stalks. They’re deep purple. They’re hard, but juicy. Are they harvestable? I don’t know. I figure it won’t hurt seeds to be exposed to frost, though, since that’s what happens naturally (well, maybe not to basil-type herbs. I don’t know where it originates, but I’m assuming somewhere hot).

I’ve sent off two packets of seeds in trade so far. “When it gets reasonably nice and we’re not unreasonably busy, we’re working on the porch and I’m cleaning up the garden,” I told Eric tonight. “Where ‘reasonably nice’ means above freezing, and not raining.” It’s getting to be hat weather, which is getting to be too cold to do things in the garden. I remember digging carrots with frozen fingers last year.

I’m not sure how far into freezing weather I can delay harvest, though. I’ve got leeks and lettuce and carrots and parsnips and turnips and broccoli, which are all supposed to be fine in a little frost, maybe even somewhat improved; but at what point do they become endangered? I’m assuming I have at least until just before garlic planting–the first real freeze. My best bet is probably to get the parts of the garden that are empty (of harvestable food) cleaned up and ready for spring, and keep an eye on what’s still growing. Or drying, in the case of the seeds.

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