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ENDING A SEASON… ENDING AN ERA…

I broke my favorite gardening tool several days ago… ending a twenty year era using it to fork-up garden soil. I bought it just after my 50th birthday with a gift of cash from Frederick & Rodney in Sonoma County, California, carving an inscription to that effect along the handle. It had been fragile & we had replaced it with another so as to coddle its weakness, but, in a mood of reminiscence. I took it out of its corner in the shed for a gentle chore. 
Its time had obviously come… 

I might have used it to dig the tubers of the Mashua, which has covered its trellis this summer & is now blooming… the first indication that the harvest at its roots is beginning to develop… probably to be ready around solstice…

The entire plant is edible, leading leaflets are great in salad, as are the insignificant blossoms, 

This is a Peruvian nasturtium I discovered when I was volunteering at the “Mother Garden”, the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, also in Sonoma. Most years I’ve had difficulty growing enough “seed” tubers to plant, but last year I didn’t let us eat any of the zippy morsels  & we are now going to be rewarded! We happily eat them sliced raw, but they are also delicious roasted, when they mellow n flavor. I’ve posted about this before with these photos of a previous crop…
 I’ll close with these delightfully colored Fava beans from earlier this summer…

Apprentice Chandler took the time to sort them into a gradually spectral line…

Now I will shop for a new handle for the still sturdy tines of the fork… 
perhaps it will yet help to harvest Mashua!