The pigs are in the garden. That’s a pretty good indicator of the growing season being over. The last thing to be picked was our dry beans, on Saturday. Sunday was just breezy enough to make winnowing the beans possible without a fan. I’ve been plenty busy in the kitchen getting the last of the canning done, green tomatoes and jellies. I’ll do my best to get some of the really yummy recipes that I’ve been using up on the blog as things continue to slow down into fall and winter.
This was the ‘last hurrah’ CSA drop. Each share took home two spaghetti squash and 2 pumpkins. This year’s varieties were ‘Crown‘ which is the smaller grey-green pumpkin. I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks quite good! It’s supposed to be a great eating squash and a great keeper too. A friend has compared one of her favorites, the Hubbard squash with our other pick the ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Rouge vif d’Etampes‘ pumpkin and said that the Cinderella is a winner.
Both pumpkin varieties should be quite good roasted and seasoned just as you’d use an acorn or buttercup squash. Of course with the large Cinderella you could probably make several pies, breads and batches of cookies as well!
Dry beans were also in the share, this year we grew ‘Calypso‘. Also, two onions, carrots, green tomatoes and herbs (rosemary, parsley and thyme.) To finish the season with a bang, we also sent some really tasty canned goods: Green Tomato Salsa Verde, Lavender Chardonnay (or Pinot Grigio) Jelly and either a Rosemary Orange or Rosemary Cranberry Glaze/Sauce that is great on meat. I tried the Rosemary Orange on toast, but it was a bit of a stretch for me.
That does it for this season. Though it was a somewhat challenging year in the garden, I think we sent some pretty good things home with our shareholders. I even have a new favorite green bean variety! There are always lessons, thanks for hanging on with us this season.
‘Tis the season for some clean up in the yard and garden before we get surprised with snow on the ground. My flower/herb garden has been out of control for some time now. So, this past weekend I dug out any perennials and took cuttings of any herbs that I wanted to save and Dave mowed it down. Yes, it was so bad that the mower was needed, and it will be tilled so that I can have a do-over. My eyes were a little bigger than my ambition and free time with a new baby to consider. Next year it will be neat and tidy, I swear. Ha!
Most everything is out of the big garden, save a few carrots that need to be dug and some weed barrier and other infrastructure that will come down soon. Dave has been busy taking down pea fences and metal posts ahead of our tillers that we just let loose in the garden last week.
These pigs are doing a great job cleaning up the garden and get treats to boot! They’ve been dining on corn and corn stalks, beans, left over tomatoes and peppers, pea and squash vines and any other goodies they can dig up as they move around the garden. We will still have to run the mower, then the tiller through to break up and work in any additional debris when they are finished, but some areas look ready to go!
As I cleaned out the flower/herb garden, I made sure to cut everything I thought I could preserve to use this winter. Many of the herbs got chopped and frozen in ice cube containers. Thyme, oregano, parsley and sage are in oil. Some mint is in lime juice for instant mojitos (just add gin) the rest is in water to use for tea or mint flavored water. Once the cubes were frozen I popped them out and dropped them into freezer bags and they are ready to throw into any recipe.
I also had some pansies and borage which are edible. These were frozen in larger containers for fancy iced water at the next event I host. The borage are the blue star shaped flowers. The flowers don’t have much taste but the borage leaves taste like cucumber so they were added in for something a bit refreshing!