Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fall colors

Fall is my favorite season.  Things slow down a little at home.  We clean up the summer garden, tuck in the fall and winter plants, and enjoy the beautiful short days.

I'll use row cover only for at least the next week over the winter beds in order to avoid wilting the plants in the daytime sun.  Then, I'll add a layer of plastic over my PVC hoops.

Our Chard is beautiful as always in the fall and we have enough right now that I've called in my back up for help with the heavy lifting.

Our carrots are extra sweet now and we are lucky if we can hold off on snacking long enough to get the into our salads.

We're only having a little bit of fun raking up the leaves, some of which we will use to mulch beds before the cold winter.  

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Homemade sweets

While we are serious veggie consumers in this household, I will not lie, we love a little sweet.
Above are 2 homemade syrups.
Left is mint simple syrup.  I am overrun in mint right now, but in a month I will be mourning the loss of the fresh stuff. I will take the leaves out after 24 hours and then store in the fridge.  This is a really nice addition to herbal tea during the cold of winter.
Right is homemade chocolate syrup.  We've been off the Hershey's for a year and never looked back because the homemade version is so tasty.  Thanks to Annie's Eats for the recipe.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

After the Frost

I know what you're thinking...Drat, everything is dead.  Yes, some of the summer garden is finished after 2 nights in the mid 30 degree range, but not all is lost.

For example, this tomatillo patch was hit pretty hard by the frost and yes, the plants themselves are finished.  However, there's about 6 lbs of harvestable fruit here.  Give it the squeeze test.  Firm fruit that is normally colored is good to pick and eat.  Mushy fruit is frost damaged and should be headed to the compost pile.

I think about the first frost every year as a learning experience in regards to what's frost tolerant and even hardy.

The swiss chard is looking terrific and my progressive planting is coming right along.

All of the Brasicas including this Collard Green, are starting to perk up in the cooler weather.

This week, we will seed spinach, lettuces, parsnips, and radishes under row cover for fall and spring munching.  And so while I'm a little sad to see the peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and zucchini go, I can't help but be happy for the change of seasons.

Winter, finally (and seriously)

I planned to start this blog last spring as my garden flew into action, but then got into the actual work of gardening and abandoned the task. However, today its winter, really winter. I'm wearing long underwear and sitting under a blanket and I'm still cold.
Today is the shortest day of the year so from here on in it gets better. I look forward to longer days, that's for sure. But I'll also tuck in and enjoy winter's freeze and snow, it does mean skiing after all. Maybe more importantly is the snow pack - without snow there isn't water for the West.
The end of the year and the solstice are a good time to think back on the last 365. I have no reason to complain and feel really lucky about the last year and really hopeful about the year to come.