As September winds down the kitchen garden is winding up. This may have been one of our worst years ever. Asparagus and early salad greens were reliable and plentiful as always. Strawberries were worse and raspberries better than expected. Cold wet weather prevented any pollination for apples and pears. After a good start, eggplant and peppers just pooped out. Everyone knows what to call a man who plants 4 hills of zucchini, buried, but not this year. For some reason, probably stress the plants stayed largely male and the zucchini were actually way too few. For a month and a half the tomatoes were good, although way to many were "shared" with wildlife. Snap peas were good, but only briefly. Winter squash got off to a poor start and never recovered. Bush beans just did not germinate at all. The champion performer for certain were cucumbers that persisted and produced, avoiding bacterial wilt, until this very week, probably a new record. Some fall lettuce, spinach, and bok choi are still to come, but the garden has had better years. Heat, drought, and neglect all took their toll; what with one thing and another we were away too much for good gardening and no one was around to keep up with watering. But like all gardeners you look forward to next year. It has to be better, right?