Thursday, September 08, 2016

In the garden...

Even though we've been struggling through a drought in our area, my garden has been fairly good at producing.  Some things have done better than others, but that's to be expected.  We've had a full summer of daily salads, and we're still nibbling like bunnies at the greens.  I planted a little bit of lettuce every two weeks or so and we've been "eating green" all summer from the garden.  Finally the cucumbers and tomatoes are ripening.  So late.  So late.  But still, we're eating from the garden and I'm thankful for what we have.  The onions are small, and they are real tear-jerkers -- producing tears in the cook's eyes when she peels and dices them.  The garlic is beautiful -- my first crop of it.  I'm going to be planting some of my bulbs this fall for next year's crop.  It's a Siberian hard-neck variety -- a great variety for us northern growers.  As you can see, the pumpkin patch has trailed down the bank and there are gobs and gobs of orange and white varieties on the vine.  The frustrating part is that none of my butternut squash produced.  At least I haven't found any amongst the vines.  The grand-littles are going to love picking jack-o-lantern prospects from the pumpkin patch.

One fun experiment I did this year were the poblano peppers.  I always buy them at the grocery store for chile rellenos  and stuffed, roasted peppers.  They are so mild that we really enjoy them so this  spring I decided to keep a few seeds and started them in little paper pots.  I set them out when they were quite small, not sure they would make it, but they did, and they are really beautiful!  I can't wait to eat, them filled with cream cheese and roasted.  Mmmm.

I've been robbing a few spuds from the potato patch now and then.  I don't pull the plants, but leave them growing while I pluck a few of the potatoes that are close to the surface underneath the straw.  There is just something extra-good about homegrown potatoes.  We had some spuds pan roasted with a little olive oil, butter and Parmesan tonight.  Similar to this recipe, but in the skillet.  Mmmmm!

The last photo boasts of cucumbers.  Actually, my dad gave me some ginormous cukes from his garden.  I really didn't know what I was going to do with them, but decided to dice them up and make bread 'n' butter relish.  I also sliced some of them into spears and make a few jars of dills.  Another experiment I am doing is on pickles.  I have noticed that the Vlasic variety of pickles that are so crisp and delicious have an ingredient that most of us don't use in our pickle recipes -- calcium chloride.  I bought a small jar of Ball Pickle Crisp to try out in my pickles this year to see if I can get the same crunch as Vlasic.  I'll let you know if it works.

We had a very busy week last week.  The men removed old shingles and put all new shingles on our roof and NumberOneSon's roof.  What a TON of work that was!  Everything looks great and it's nice to have that project done before winter.  We also had friends from So. Cal. come visit for a couple days.  It was so nice to catch up with them and have some wonderful heart to heart talks.

Autumn is in the air!  The mornings are cool and crisp.  We wake up and put on jeans and long sleeves and by noon we are into our short-sleeves and I put on shorts.  By evening, we are back to pants and long sleeves again.  Such is fall here.  We've had a few showers of rain which has been good.  At least we know it can rain.  We are hopeful that there might be more rain on the way for us this fall.  It would be nice to put the trees and grasses to bed with a good amount of wetness at the roots.  God knows.  How is your fall going so far?


  1. Looks like your garden had a great yield. Yum, poblano peppers. We've been fallish around here, too.

  2. What a beautiful garden! I pick early potatoes in the same way :) They're so delicious! we also had a very dry summer - our carrots are far too small.But I have some lovely squash coming. We aren't having fall weather yet - the last few days have been the hottest and most humid of all summer. But we know fall is coming - one of these days soon. And I'll be sad to see summer go but autumn is very lovely here too!

  3. It sounds like you're having the perfect fall this year! Your vegetables are all so pretty, I sure wish I had better luck at gardening. I'm blaming it on our clay soil LOL. (Ok, it might be my lack of green thumb!)We've had a ton of rain in the last few days -- I'd send you some but you're in the wrong direction!

  4. It's always interesting to see how the harvest develops - some years one crop flourishes, and one fails, then the next year it's a different mix of successes... so it's nice to have quite a few things going so that you end up with plenty. That's odd about the butternut. :-(

    How great to have lettuce all along. I should do the successive lettuce plantings next spring. I could do them now, but I know I won't be wanting salads so much in the winter.

  5. We've been wet here for the past year, esp. last fall and winter. We're way ahead in rain. Summer was hotter than usual. As you say, some things do well; some don't. Your garden yieldings sound sumptuous to me! I hope you got your tomatoes and cucs in before the first freeze coming! Ripen those toms inside :)


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