September 5, 2016

Another month has passed us by already and the garden has gone through extensive changes. Many plantings have finished producing and have been relegated to the compost pile. New plantings are finding their way to the soil and a mid-season row of bush beans produced the first handful of beans today. Gotta love those Autumn veggies!

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This is the two-year old jalapeno that overwintered in the house last winter. We picked almost three pounds of peppers from this plant and it is still loaded. They freeze well and a new favorite is Jalapeno Popper Casserole. Add a side of refries, some yellow squash and a salad or yogurt for dessert and it makes a fine winter meal.

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The last row of bush beans started producing today. There will be enough for fresh beans for several meals over the next couple weeks. Fresh is always best!

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The Genovese basil is sorely ready to be harvested again but there has been little time. I believe the rest of this will go into the dehydrator soon. Before the grasshoppers finish it off.

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Some of the many marigolds lining the tomato rows. They got almost three feet tall and smelled lovely.

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This is a very important photo. See those little yellow flags? Each one of those marks a blackberry cane. This picture is a few days old. Gene planted them and then he got side tracked. Just yesterday he finished up by weeding better, and laying cardboard around the entire field of canes then mulching with aged wood chips. All that after planting with great amendments and plenty of compost. You probably saw his planting job last update.

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Originally there were nine okra plants but they got in each others way so I removed four of them and they joined the compost pile. These remaining five have kept up nicely and there has even been enough to share once in a while. Sometimes less is more.

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Our little melon patch. All grown up from three seeds and a straw bale, it produced about thirteen ripe melons – four still to be harvested. Little Gems perfect for two people.

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DISCLAIMER!: These boxes are RECYCLED! I think the post office would take offense at using unrecycled boxes for this purpose. But it worked really well. You may remember that last spring the peppers were planted too early. Way too early if you know much of anything about gardening. I now know more than I did then! Peppers should not be planted in cool soil and I did just that. They revived once I put these cardboard collars on them, filled the boxes with warm soil, fresh compost and an extra dose of Azomite. Compost tea didn’t hurt anything. They sprang right into a growth spurt and have been spitting out peppers ever since. Jimmy Nardelos, Thai, and pablano. The Marconi were unhappy, then happy for a while and pretty sad ever since.

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One of the MANY volunteer zinnias. I have recently learned that zinnias encourage aphids to populate a garden hence the major aphid problem all summer. Lesson learned.

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From the backside of the Cornfield garden plot. You might notice there is no corn. All harvested. Take note… check your corn way before the expected harvest date. We left the ears on the stalk a little too long but it was all still edibly delicious. Have you noticed how many lessons there have been this summer?

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The first batch of cucumbers recently finished their job after producing almost seventy pounds of cukes from six seeds. I had no idea. Apparently we did everything right that could have been done right. This is the second batch and thank goodness they seem to be producing a little less. I did discover that you can dehydrate cucumbers in spite of their high water content and the resulting cucumber chips are ever so delicious. Not too labor intensive if you get a rhythm going on slicing them.

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Pots of garlic chives and oregano. This is the first year the garlic chives have flowered and we have enjoyed munching on them and adding them to soups and such. Still need to get some oregano in the dehydrator.

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Here we have the world-famous Thai basil plot. No one in their right mind plants this much but if you have been following along you know how and why I planted all 24 (?) 35 (?) plants. Too many anyway. It has been happily  shared with many friends and the dehydrator took care of a bunch of it (thank you Pat for the lovely Thai basil salt, sweet!); my sister will get some for Christmas. I would eventually like to grow and sell basil locally. We shall see.

The tomatoes have all but bitten the dust. Blight is an ugly killer. I enjoyed the productivity of the Celebrities. The Japanese Black Trifele tasted watery to me. The Black Krims for all their glory just didn’t produce very much and the green Zebras poor producers also, except I sure enjoy making green salsa with them.

The edamame stayed on the vine for about two days too long. Another one of those situations where you should be ready early. They produced a ton of pods and decent beans inside but my understanding is they could produce about twice as much. Our plants averaged around 100 pods per plant. That was a lot of picking.

The zucchini was a total bust. Squash bugs. AND mislabeled seeds… I planted squash several times and thought I was losing my mind because it kept turning into yellow squash. It WAS yellow. We had tons of yellow squash. It was great. It will be great all winter long.

The Cushaw was a bit disappointing. There was not 300 pounds nor was there 100 pounds. There was three squash weighing less than 15 pounds. The biggest and first one rotted. Next year.

Gene finally pulled up the pole beans as they were just a nuisance. No beans to speak of. No clue.

The eggplants are still alive. They look pathetic. They are perking up and I think they might do something. If they do do something I will post a picture.

The Autumn Plan is well underway although seeds should have been planted several weeks earlier. The long-range forecast is for warmer then usual weather and I am counting on that. I have started the following; kale, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, onions (from seed), radish, lettuces, parsley, leeks (from seed and the starts I started a LONG time ago), carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, bok choy, cilantro, beets, snow and shell peas. That’s all.

Stay tuned for updates and interesting grub from the kitchen!

signature, Sarah