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Kip Anderson
Gardener Kip Anderson

November: An Unseasonably Warm Autumn

Kip waits patiently for the first frost
by Kip Anderson

This autumn has been the warmest I can remember. As I write this in the final few days of October, we still haven't had a frost. Although late October is often mild here in Massachusetts, the norm is for there to have been a very cold night or two in the early weeks of the month. What we have here isn't normal. The garden refuses to die, and I am left hanging in a kind of limbo, a gardener's dream come true if only I had known it would be this way. I'd like to be able to tell you that my thoughts are being spent exclusively on the state of the vegetable garden, but that would betray my longstanding policy of honesty and full disclosure.

In fact, I have been spending far too much time paying far too much attention to the Boston Red Sox who, at this moment, are on the verge of another world championship. Although I may commiserate with our faithful Colorado viewers, I do not apologize.

And then, of course, there is the matter of the New England Patriots. Another Super Bowl? I'll have to wait and see how they do against the Indianapolis Colts next week before I get my hopes up. It's amazing how proud one can get about something one has nothing to do with. And now I will apologize. Sorry, everybody, but I will take a little bit of pride in the fact that Bill Belichick and I have the same college alma mater. That's a Latin phrase for sure, only this time it's not botanical Latin.

I'd like to harvest some kale from the garden, but as I've stated time and time again, kale (as with collards and Brussels sprouts) doesn't really come into its own until it has gone through a good frost or two. Many things are worth waiting for, but it is hard to know what to do with an embarrassment of riches, both present and future.

Kip Anderson has been the Victory Garden's head gardener for over 20 years.

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Published November 1, 2007