Dwindling Garden Goodies

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We are moving more toward winter with each passing day and the garden is showing a definite slow down. I just harvested the very last red cabbage that I had planted in the spring. The outer leaves had been frozen and thawed several times so they were mostly slime. I peeled away the ick and found the inside half of the cabbage sound, crisp and quite delicious.

The onions have been protected by the soil around them and are still firm although I will need to harvest the last half of row that is left in the garden before the ground gets muddy and stays muddy. The moisture can rot the bulbs if left in the ground.

The row of carrots are down to the last five feet or so, I have been using them as fast as I can in recipes, roasted in the oven for carrot fries, making carrot/raisin salad and for fresh eating. I have only about another week worth before they are all gone.

Kale has slowed considerably but I use the most tender leaves to make baked kale chips, a big hit for a snack or appetizer. Most of the apple trees are completely done for the year, only a few left from the very late HoneyCrisp and yellow delicious varieties. The cows are down to the last wheelbarrow loads of fruit for the year as we cut and dole them out a few at a time.

I have only four of the twenty four tires left in the potato row and they will be finished for the season. Most years I am able to put a few aside when I dig the last tire/mound, but we have been enjoying hashbrowns and potato soup a little more than normal and we are nearly out.

But never fear, I still have BEETS! I  continue give them away to anyone that pulls into the driveway (I sure surprised the lost traveler asking for directions and the mail person when delivering a package) or when I go to meetings. I have made beet fries, beet salad (both cooked and raw), I mix them in with every pot of soup and dice them into casseroles. Pickled beets with carrots have been eaten freshly made with lots of jars canned and stored. Still I have more beets available.

Looking back at the beginning of this story, I had mentioned that the garden is dwindling which is true, but we are still getting a good amount of produce out of the relatively small space.

Beet Recipes

After yesterdays story about my giant beets, how could I not follow up with some of my favorite beet recipes? So here goes some of my favorite.

Raw Beet Salad (best flavor the 2nd day)

Raw Beets grated

1 apple grated to add extra sweetness (I prefer HoneyCrisp or other sweet variety)

Garlic powder and onion powder

Honey to taste

Basalmic vinegar (for a change of pace, use apple cider vinegar I prefer Bragg’s raw-unfiltered)

Citrus Juice to taste ( I use True Citrus https://www.truelemon.com/ crystal packets so the salad doesn’t get to watery). I change up using lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit depending on my mood.

In the past, I used to use some good olive oil in this salad but have found the flavors and texture delightful even without the added oil. Mix all ingredients with a fork and store salad in an airtight container.

Continue reading

What The Heck Happened

I don’t know if it is because of the unusual amount of humidity we have experienced this summer, or the cooler than average hottest temperatures or if someone has been feeding my garden a super supplement but my beets have seriously gotten out of control.

three extra large beets next to my bootI have been giving away beets to every person who stops by the farm. I have gifted the vet, the mail carrier, and even some dude going by on his bicycle. I take bunches of them to town with me when I do errands and I still have a long row growing in size daily. Continue reading

Trying To Keep Up With Garden

Stuffed greed peppers from the gardenIt’s a mad scramble this time of year to keep up with all the goodies from the garden. The dehydrator has been running non-stop with apple slices and the last of the plums.

Now the peppers are coming on strong and we did up a bunch of them into stuffed peppers, I did forget to take a pic before diving in to the creation. These are a yellow bell rather than the usual green bell peppers that most people use. I like to grow the yellows because when I dry them the results make it easy to tell the mild bell from the little bit hotter Serrano pepper that I also like to dehydrate. I don’t like surprises in the amount of heat I am adding to a pot of stew and finding out way too late that I will be the only one eating the dinner. Continue reading

In The Mood For Baby Beets

I was in the mood for baby beets for dinner this evening, but I had a little trouble out in the garden. All I could find were monster-sized beets.

Large beetsSo instead of baby beets pan fried in butter with garlic and chives (a delightful way to enjoy beets and one of my favorite side dishes) I needed to come up with a new plan.

Some of these giants will be diced and boiled until soft (NOT MUSHY) and the water drained out of them. Once cold. they make a great addition to a green salad of lettuce, green onions, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and toasted walnuts. I have also been known to eat boiled beets for breakfast mixed with a little sour cream, but that is another story.

The rest of the beets today will be sliced into french fry size and roasted. I like to sprinkle them with olive oil and sea salt before roasting at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Make sure the oven is up to temperature before putting in roasting pan and leave room on the pan for each piece without competing with each other. A non-stick cookie sheet works well. Delish!

Some people like to roast carrots, potatoes, parsnips and onions at the same time, but for me today I’m just going to stick with the beets. I would love to hear your favorite ways of eating beets.


A Little More Each Day

Fresh dug beets from the gardenBeets are big enough to start harvesting. They are one of our favorite vegetables. We cook them and top them with a bit of butter or sour cream or sometimes both. We eat lots of grated raw beets made into  a salad. I even like to eat them cooked and cooled for breakfast. Most of the beets are already good sized but we have been finding that several of the tops are trying to grow seed heads instead of putting their energy into growing the root bases. Daily pulling of the ones trying to go to seed will be needed to keep the whole row from trying to do the same thing. Continue reading

Purloined And Tweaked

A recent lunch out was far beyond the normal for me. For one it was in Portland, I think it was on the west side of the city but for actual address it could have been close to the Columbia River or close to Salem (thank goodness I wasn’t driving). For two, it was a vegetarian restaurant, I have nothing against vegetarian and I am quite smitten with many recipes from both the vegetarian and vegan world, but I had never had the opportunity to go to a 100 percent veggie eating establishment before (yes am quite sheltered).

At lunch I had the most FABULOUS beet salad, it was so good I dreamed about it that night and was determined to replicate the flavors and textures of the meal. I wish I would have committed the menu description to memory for I cannot get all the goodies figured out, but I didn’t let that stop me to take a foray into culinary plagiarism that turned out pretty darn good. Continue reading

Beautiful Beets

Fall is the time of year when the garden begins to wind down. Tossed over the fence to the cows are all the lettuce plants that bolted and were trying to flower, the cabbages that had overgrown and split into large chunks that the slugs attacked with vigor, the spent green bean plants and what was left of the withered vines of the butternut (after getting a few, good, harvest-able squash). Continue reading

And They Keep Coming

I have been giving away carrots and beets as fast as I can. I’m trying to get them all out of the garden before they freeze in the ground and turn mushy. I pass them out to every visitor, I haul loads in to the Community Center, I made the postal carrier take a bag full and yet I still have more to harvest. It’s the cleaning that is the problem, mud clings to the vegetables and it takes more time to de-dirt than to haul the things away.

It’s a good thing that I like root vegetables so much but this three meals a day tends to get a little weary. What’s that? You ask why I planted so many? I think I just told you, I love ’em. A lot. And I’m probably going to plant the same amount next year also.

By the way, can you use any beets and carrots?


Big Beets

Holding a baseball sized beet.This latest round of hot weather has promoted the growth of the beet root crop this year.

Beets are one of our favorite vegetables and it only takes one beet to make a complete side dish when they are as big as baseballs.

Earlier in the summer, before the warm weather, we enjoyed beet greens. It only takes a couple of minutes to saute the chopped tops with a bit of butter, salt and pepper. Some like to add a little vinegar to the lightly cooked greens and I have found that regular white vinegar is a tad too tart and prefer the milder rice wine vinegar sprinkled over the dish just before serving.