Monday, November 15, 2010

Green Green Harvest

People are still posting on Daphne's harvest Monday and it is a range of harvest depending on location. I have spent the last couple of weeks tearing down the tomato plants, harvesting about 8lbs of green cherry tomatoes that have been slowly ripening. They have lost most flavor but at least I know that I grew them which makes it a few steps above store bought.

I harvested all the carrots but forgot to take a picture.
Planted the garlic and am very excited to have a new crop. The ones  planted earlier have poked out of the ground so I hope that is OK.

I harvested a very large bowl of greens that are beautiful in color and I will most likely get another harvest before the temperature drops too far. Red mustard, kale, pac choi and ruby red swiss chard.

We have been collecting leaves for composting and are trying something a little different this year. Hubby is making a pass with the lawn mower on top of the leaves. Some will be saved to add to the compost bin throughout the year and some will be applied directly to the garden around the greens and garlic.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Apple and Pizza Pie

The pictures are not great but we enjoyed this apple tart and fresh tomato and riccota pizza pie sometime this past week.

The apples are not from the garden but we did pick them at one of our favorite orchards two weeks ago.
Tomatoes, sage, onions, roasted red pepper and olives on ricotta on a crust for the pizza.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Last and Harvest

A few months back, which seems like yesterday, I posted about firsts. The first harvest is always so exciting. I have come to one of my last harvests. I pulled out most of the garden this past weekend and will, for the first time, plant garlic. This is always a little sad but a new crop and the frozen vegetables will keep us happy for part of the winter. I still have a few turnips, tomatoes and carrots left in the garden.
Here is what I pulled this week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Harvest Monday

Slow and steady. Some of harvest from the last two weeks. I have not brought myself to pulling the tomato plants. The cucumbers are still producing which is amazing given my past experience. Okra has slowed down. It is getting too chilly for them. Swiss chard, red mustard and kale are kicking in. I am finally getting a few cayenne chilies to turn red and I froze a few cups of pesto. Fall is around the corner.
See some other harvests at Daphne's Dandelions.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Celebrating the Harvest

In the Jewish Religion and customs, we have a holiday that celebrates the harvest. It is called Sukkot. It is customary to build a sukkah (a temporary shelter that enables you to simultaneously, appreciate the natural world while acknowledging the fragility of the man made.)

For the first time in my life, we have built a sukkah. Actually my husband did the building but I took care of the walls and the roof. There are a slew of traditions that go along with the holiday like:
DECORATING it with fruits from the harvest -
EATING in the sukkah -
SLEEPING in the sukkah -
BLESSINGS - said specifically over an etrog (citrus fruit) and a lulav (date palm frond).

I am just excited to have such a beautiful and cozy sukkah.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Harvest Monday

This weekend we got down to 65° at night and the garden is slowing down in some areas, picking up in other areas.
I am not getting a lot of any specific crop but a steady small amount of everything. Keeps dinner on the table. Made a wonderful pot of gumbo this weekend and now have lettuce on a regular basis.  Lots of the plants have flowers and small fruits. Hopefully enough time to develop and ripen.

Daphne's has all the latest harvests. Check it out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Okra - Must Mean Gumbo

The only other poster that I know that gets excited about okra is Debbie from Connecting the Dots. She posted  a few weeks ago on how Tomato plus Okra equals Gumbo. I had a very uncooperative garden this year and did not get my tomatoes at the same time that I got the okra. None the less, I have harvested 35 okra in the last week and thought that was enough to make a fine gumbo. I actually had enough tomatoes to use for the gumbo but had to resort to a little canned tomato sauce to add in there. For the future, I think I will freeze some homemade tomato sauce in ice cube trays for use in small amounts. I often need 4 tablespoons full.

I was cooking for a Jewish crowd and had to leave out any shellfish so I decided to make a jalapeno chicken sausage gumbo. The only thing in the pot that was not from the garden was the garlic, chicken sausage and 4 tablespoon of tomato sauce. The top picture is the roux, I love the color.

The ingredients were:
onions, garlic, okra, swiss chard, Anaheim pepper, cayenne peppers, parsley, tomatoes, and sausage. Check out Greenish Thumb for some other great recipes in the Garden to Table Challenge. The crowd loved it and it is all gone.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Lettuce Update

Back in August I posted on Small but Amazing Things. I had just planted lettuce seeds and marveled at how quickly they germinated. I have been enjoying lettuce from the bed for the last week or two and will be taking a salad to a pot luck tonight.

Sept 7th
August 9th
August 11th

I also have had a small tomato surge. The sungolds and juliets are producing a good bowl full a day. There are about 40–50 green tomatoes of various shapes and sizes on the plants and I am hoping they will have time to  ripen enough for picking.

Friday, September 3, 2010

All Shapes and Sizes

The cucumbers are going crazy and the okra are confused.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Harvest Monday

My husband and daughter have been away for the week so I have spent some of my time freezing and canning without two more mouths to feed. I never realized how much they consume!
Frozen Beans
Frozen Tomato Sauce
Frozen Okra stew
Frozen Kale
Then a friend of mine has been away and she has a peach tree. She urged me to help myself. First year that it has produced fruit and she didn't even get to taste one. I made:
6 pints of Peach jam
4 pints of Peach chutney
Of course I'll give her some.

Tomato plants don't look so good but oddly have started to send out new shoots and flowers and have set fruit again. The Juliet and Sun Gold are loaded with fruit and the Brandywines have plum size fruit. Even the Early ripers are starting up again. The glut is over so I am happy to have fresh tomatoes as long as I can. The idea of buying them from the store is disheartening.

Some of the fall radishes are ready for harvest. I should have planted more. I wonder if it is too late. I lose a lot of my sun in the garden this time of the year.

Hop over to Daphne's to see more harvests.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvest Monday

RAIN Today! I can still count the number of days of rain this summer on one hand.
Last weeks post was late so there is some overlap and I am still lazy about taking pictures. Take a look at Dahne's Harvest Monday for other great harvests.

Tomatoes are slowing down but there are a few new shoots and fruit sets on the very yellow and scraggly plants. I am not sure what is happening to them but I do not think I will have tomatoes for much longer. Also see the previous post if you have any clue what might be the issue with some of my tomatoes.

The new carrots beets and radishes are doing well. I hope they get enough sun with the new growth of the maple tree this summer. it blocks some of the late summer sun.

I continue to pick kale. Froze some and tried a new recipe of raw kale, tomato and cucumber, marinated in soy sauce and  lemon, sprinkled with toasted sunflower seeds. You can see other great recipes at Greenish Thumb Garden to Table challenge.

Okra has not been coming in in the amounts I thought they would. two rows of okra are not producing at all so I am left with one row of about 8 plants.

Eggplants are starting to produce in quantity but I only have 3 plants. Pole beans are also beginning to kick in. I froze a pound of them this week. Peppers are still having a little difficulty.

All of a sudden the cucumbers are starting to produce. I think the hot weather stalled them. This is a persian variety. Small, smooth, crunchy. Never tried pickling these but I might have to since I am picking 4 a day.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where has the Time Gone!

Monday harvest came and went and I have just not been on top of the posting. None the less, I have been getting a variety of items from the garden and they are pictured below. Oddly, the tomatoes are being consumed and nobody is quite sick of them yet. The small ones pop in the mouth without being conscious that you are doing so. Slicing, tomato juice, and cooking with the others. Pole beans are beginning to come in regularly.  I cut back all the swiss chard and am hoping it will send out another burst of energy. I did not plant more. The kale is beautiful. and some of the eggplants are coming in.

Any idea what is wrong with these tomatoes? They are mottled in color and very  mealy. I am picking them from the same exact plants that other very tasty and juicy brandywine tomatoes are being picked. If it were happening to all of them, I could understand, but only a few is perplexing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Small but Amazing Things

I am truly amazed at some of the garden activity and thought this would be a good time to share.
For starters, Things in the garden have not looked really well lately. The tomato leaves are turning yellow. They stopped setting fruit so I think I might only have tomatoes through August. Despite thinking the zuchini was on it's way back, it has done nothing in the last 3 weeks. Strange that it is so big, green and healthy looking. I was feeling I needed new life in the garden.

Amazing thing #1
The lettuce bed died and thought that it was time to plant another batch. My lettuce bed is directly behind the back porch and gets sun until noon–1 p.m. The previous owners of the house left a large role of fiberglass screen material in the garage. While Granny has a great system for shading her lettuce, I discovered that the screening makes a great material to protect newly planted seeds from heavy rains, sweltering heat, the sun and cats using it as a litter box. It works for a day or two after they germinate.

Nothing too amazing except that it was Monday morning when I planted the box. This morning when I went out to do my morning garden stuff, I saw that many of the seeds germinated. Two days or 48 hours seems so quick and I am just amazed that the dust like seeds, can produce these seedlings, and in time lettuce.
Here are some of the pictures. Click on the picture to enlarge.

Prepping the lettucebox.                     Screening on the box after planting.

The seedlings at 8:00 a.m. this morning.

Amazing thing # 2
I don't prescribe to any specific gardening philosophy but I prefer not to use insecticides and feel that the food chain and insect world need to be kept in balance. So a few insects don't bother me. I would not call my garden organic but this year, I did not use anything besides compost in it. Sometimes it is a problem but sometimes I harvest something that is just perfect and I am shocked to see no bug bites, discoloration in the fruit, distorted shapes. How does nature make some things so perfect?

Kale leaves without a blemish.