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
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?
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.
This is the swan song for the garden beets for this year. Although they were not as prolific as last years bounty, we have enjoyed beets for many meals.
Many times I have made raw beet salad with diced apples and pears soaked in a honey, ginger and Balsamic vinegar dressing. But these are going to be boiled until tender, drained, and sliced to top green salad for dinner.
A quick call was placed to a neighbor when I heard the weather forecast for the upcoming week. The last seven days of cool, cloudy, sprinkles has been a treat from the high 90’s we had been experiencing. Now the forecast calls for this week to warm and the same weather pattern to hold several days in the 90’s or higher.
The garden is currently producing extra summer squash, about a five gallon bucket full per day and more beans than the farm could eat. And there is also another five gallon bucket of fallen apples each day. I am already feeding quite a bit to the cows and didn’t want to increase the fresh garden produce before hauling to and fro with fair activities.
The fair animals needed to be the priority and I would not have time to pick or process all the produce before it growing too big for human consumption.
Explaining the dilemma to the neighbor brought swift action and five people to scour the beans, peas, beets and squash rows, picking all the veggies in a swift manner.
This is definitely a win/win, I got my garden picked and the neighbors got fresh veggies for a couple of dinners! What a relief to know that I won’t have to worry about the garden over growing during the next busy days of the fair.
Today, I will water all the plants until saturated, setting the garden up to be on its own for the rest of the week.