Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still learning

Well, fall is officially here. The days are now shorter than the nights, and we had our first brush with frost last night. I visited all my garden plots yesterday to square things away for the potential frost. I picked the last of the purple green beans, covered the row of fall greens with some row cover, and generally made sure things were squared away. My fall greens are really going gang busters! I got a handful of arugula, kale and spinach for a little salad yesterday. I'll have 4 butternut squashes and 1 last cabbage head to harvest in October. My fridge is stuffed with carrots and kohlrabi and green beans, I have a box full of onions and garlic, and I've got a few tomatoes on the counter still. Not too shabby.

This summer really flew by. I don't know if it was Baby, or being jobless, or the cool weather, or what, but I just don't remember a summer going by this fast before. I learned a lot though, and did things that I've never done before. My first try at pickling went really well, despite the lack of cucumbers. :-) That zucchini relish has been a hit with everyone who's tried it. The potato trial went well. I'll fix the last of those potatoes this week probably. I still need to figure out how to grow more and have enough to eat on for more than a month plus enough to plant out next spring. But, baby steps. :-) My spring planted garlic turned out surprisingly well, with full heads on all of them, and no difference in taste that I can tell. I made some grape juice with my mother this weekend from a friends grapes that were about to ferment on the vine, and that was a first. It's pretty tasty, and I'll definitely do it again if I get the opportunity. I canned corn and carrots this year, both a first for me, and I doubled the amount of tomatoes I canned. I actually ate my kohlrabi and cabbage this year, another first. I don't know about anyone else, but I have this weird thing where the first year I grow something, i.e. kohlrabi, I'll grow a small bit of it, harvest it, and then watch it decompose in the fridge. Maybe try it cooked in one dish, but half the time I mess that up so bad it just ends up in the trash. The second year I'll actually grow enough of the veggie that I'll have a good batch to work with and I'll try lots of things, and then it actually gets eaten. Maybe that's normal omnivore behavior, I don't know, but it's something to think about. Yea, I knew how to deal with a bushel of tomatoes and I had experience with bags of green beans and okra. However, learning dishes to do with 2 dozen kohlrabi bulbs that wouldn't upset my husband and young child was a whole 'nother level. I'm really glad I started my gardening before I found myself unemployed with a small child and trying to actually feed my family with the produce.

Farmers markets will be closing soon in the northern half of the country, make sure you stock up on your favorite goodies. :-)

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