So, here's the status of everything:
Harbs! We have rosemary, thyme, oregano, and curry bushes -- in theory all should survive the winter, but we'll see how we do. The basil is doing fine; it's not become the enormous bushes I hoped it would, but it's been more than enough for every time we want to use it in the kitchen. Overall, I think that the "plant basil plants wherever there's empty space, especially around tomatoes" strategy was a good thing.
Broccoli! After a summer spent growing and growing and putting out leaves without producing, the broccoli finally started to produce -- and grew even bigger than we expected. The heads haven't been huge or tight, though (though they taste fine), and next year, it's probably just not worth it. Too much time and space for a food that we don't eat all that much. (Incidentally, a week or so ago, I found that one of the broccoli heads was crawling with little gray bugs. I drenched the plant with Neem and sprayed the surrounding plants, and it seems okay since then.)
Cucumbers! These are a new addition, planted about a month ago (mid to late August) in the space where the peas and lettuce were, in clusters of a few seedlings each. They're growing fine, but we fear that we may not get any actual cucumbers before the cold really sets in. Ah well; it was a shot in the dark. Next year, we need to get them in promptly once the peas are down, if we do that again; this year was delayed by not having seeds and not finding them easily at this time of year.
Peppers! We've harvested a few red cherry peppers so far; they're tasty and crisp, if not very spicy. The bell peppers are growing happy and big, but haven't been turning red yet. A couple of weeks ago, we propped them up with bamboo stakes, which we should've done even earlier. The stakes are helping a lot at keeping them happy and supported with the fruit; they're not really big or vine-like enough to take advantage of the nearby fence. We also suspect that they'd be much bigger and healthier if they hadn't been overshadowed by the peas for the first month or two of life -- something to fix next year.
Nasturtiums! Dear God, the nasturtiums. On the one hand, they're very pretty, and they need no care at all. On the other hand, they are TAKING OVER THE GARDEN. The greens and flowers are quite tasty but distinctively strong-flavored, and they can't be canned or preserved, so they're not getting eaten at nearly the rate that they're growing. On the other other hand, they are supposed to help repel bad bugs as well.
Marigolds! They're extremely pretty, they're flourishing, and like the nasturtiums, they need no care at all. (Also, I suspect that all those flowers mean that we'll have marigolds next year unless we actively fight it.) The biggest thing I might change is rearranging the garden so they're visible from the road, since they're so pretty.
Carrots! The carrots are shorter than I would have expected, despite deliberately buying a short variety; they can grow very very thick without gaining much length at all. Still, they're crisp and tasty and easy. The one pest issue is that several of them have granular mounds around the head; I assumed that these were ant mounds, but when I harvested them, there were lots of tiny gray grubs/bugs around the top of the carrot, in the crevices. The carrot itself was fine once properly cleaned, but it's still a bit odd/gross.
Beets! I have mixed feelings about the beets. They're easy, and they have a great sweet beet flavor, and the chioggia beets are utterly gorgeous -- the white/gold and red stripes are just lovely. On the other hand, most of the beets so far have had a fairly strong amount of bitterness as well, beyond the earthiness that's normal for beets. They're not inedible -- indeed, they're quite good -- but I'd like to try to figure out how to make them less bitter next year.
Incidentally, the beet/carrot patch is still full of plants at all stages of development. I'm not sure if it's a result of planting so densely or what, but we really didn't need to do multiple layers of seeding; the plants are basically staggering themselves in their development.
Onions and shallots! We thought that the alliums were a partial failure: none of them grew all that big. We realized, in retrospect, that harvesting green onion/shallot leaves was a way to guarantee that the bulbs would never get too big. Next year, we should have one densely planted patch that we plan to use as young spring onions, and another patch whose leaves we let grow, so we can get mature bulbs. Nonetheless, the onions and shallots that we left in the ground (hoping they might grow more) have surprised us in the last week or two by bursting out with a new set of leaves! We'll harvest them once these leaves get old, but I'm hoping to have decent-sized onions by winter.
Garlic! This year, as I've said, was a shot in the dark; once the garlic had lost its leaves for the summer, we harvested it, and we did indeed find several cute little miniature garlic heads underground. Not as big as a "real" head, but a nice return on the investment. I plan to plant garlic today for next year, so that it can mature over the winter this time.
Tomatoes! The queens of the garden. The "grape" and Early Girl plants have been incredibly prolific; we've been eating them, giving them away, and canning them in half a dozen different forms. They've both had a couple of problems lately, though; the grapes have been splitting (because of a stretch where they weren't watered enough a week or so ago, I suspect), and the Early Girls seem to have an infection of thrips/spotted wilt. The leaves of the latter are spotted with brown and yellow, and the tomatoes have a yellow/brown ring of skin discoloration around the stem end. Fortunately, the fruits still taste fine. The Old Germans have been a bit of a frustration -- the first two tomatoes to ripen, at long last, got stolen before we could eat them! Still, today I picked the next three ripe fruits; they took a while, but they're also enormous, and I can't wait to taste them.
As for the other tomatoes, the ones we grew from seed, they seem to be healthy and happy, but they're just much smaller than their kin. The Sungolds have produced some scrumptious fruit, but the rest are still young and green; they may not ripen before it frosts. Next year, we definitely need to buy some heirlooms as young plants, not try to do the seed thing at home.
And that's all!
Although the length of time since the last update might lead one to think so. Oops.