Monday, October 3, 2011

Fall is for Food from the Yard!

          October  already!  Just a few more days til the traditional first frost date of October 15th. So what's in the garden and on the table?
This was all gathered Sunday, or canned, as the case may be.
      Bell peppers are racing to beat the frost.  Little HOT (very hot) peppers (hot lemon) that will make a great bug repellent spray when dried and steeped next year. Reliable Jalapenos are still coming, some for the salsa, some for the bug spray next year.  Tomatoes, of course, smaller and fewer than they have been, but still producing!  Horseradish is there somewhere, not sure it was real happy in the sun, but it did make root, so we'll grate and freeze or pickle for some spice this winter. 
       The sorghum cane made pretty seed heads that the birds attacked, but we rescued a few for some hot cereal when the weather is really cold.  The cane is still green and making suckers and still sweet when cut and chewed.  I have to watch the Farmer so he doesn't come home with a millstone to crush them into syrup. 
     The okra is still coming, again slowing down, but we always have some til frost.  The Red heirloom okra deserves a place in the edible landscape (see below).  It is a lovely plant, open and uniquely colored.  The fruit is plentiful and very good.  The Farmer loves it raw, eating it as soon as he picks it.  We're trying to do less fried okra, so he can have as much as he wants.  We don't use the ginger in the foreground for the okra, but it does wander into some stirfry occasionally, and the winter squash will be happy to share flavors.

     The sweet potatoes are the first we've dug, they went in a little late but they did well, we'll leave the rest for a while yet.  The jars are full of Candy Roaster squash, ready for the pantry.  There's a bowl of mixed butternut (picked Friday from the side of the house) and the leftover Candy Roaster from canning.  That will go in a pie tonight, a bit of extra honey to sweeten the butternut and it will be as good as pumpkin (which is just another winter squash).

Right front basil trying to seed then tomatoes
Left front butternut then sweet potatoes and a couple of
blueberries at the fence
      The pole beans are doing really well, as they usually do for us when planted after the spring/summer bush beans stop producing.  We've picked a few meals worth, but this bountiful harvest will have to be canned, we are only two people after all!   A note on the beans, I planted 8 seeds, one in each corner of two 4'x4' beds, seen below, the teepees.  After picking these, I think I'll vote for going back to growing them on hogwire fencing or we'll go with cattle panels.  The teepees may look cute, but most of the beans are below waist or knee level and I'm too old for very much stoop labor.  Maybe taller teepees, but we made these as high as I could reach.  Gardening is experimenting!

Lavendar and sage are some of my favorite herbs.
    The basil is still growing and I'm cheering on the 'lettuce leaf' plants we grew from last year's seed.  It did wonderfully this year, but is a bit slow making seed.  I hope it makes it before frost!! 
    In the garden and growing for next season is cabbage, onions, lettuce, carrots, beets, turnips.  Kale is waiting to go in the ground.  Cilantro is coming up everywhere from seeding itself early this summer.  Hope The Farmer didn't get it all when he 'weeded'.
Heirloom bunching onions from a friend in Lacey's Spring,
eggplant still hanging on, cabbage growing, peppers giving it
their all, sorghum cane that will not turn brown, sages, lavendar and

     That's where we are as October starts... how does your garden grow?

The Farmer's Wife


  1. My tomatos are coming faster than ever, and I am anxious about whether that one pepper will turn red before the season ends. It's been a rough year here and my fall garden just doesn't want to get started. Somehow I managed to end the year with nothing for the root cellar or canned... most of it just bad choices on my part. But like every year, I learned a lot!

  2. What a nice mess of beans you have there, Mrs. Farmer! Like Nicole, my folks' garden took a pretty bad hit this year, but they got some great squash, peppers, and watermelon... I think I ate most of the watermelon :)