Monday, October 29, 2012

Harvest Monday

Sandy is approaching.... and it's supposed pass right above where we are.....

We did everything we could to prepare for this. I covered some of my cabbages and young strawberry plants with leaves and then with plastic bird net, hoping they will stay put. My low PVC tunnel and big hoop house will be a challenge. I put a lot of potted plants and gardening tools etc. inside the hoop house, so if it blows away, I'm in deep trouble...

I didn't cover garlic, carrots, radishes, and some other things, but I'm just hoping for the best for them...

The wind is really picking up, but we still have power. I hope I can follow up with a positive post in a few days.

Earlier today, I manage to make some meat sauce with the tomato sauce I caned, onions, carrots, celery, basil, and oregano from the garden. That's what we will have for the next few days...

The last of the hot peppers are in the dehydrator to be made into crushed red peppers.

I also made a cream cheese danish and a bunch of chocolate chip coconut cookies. I think we'll be okay for a while!

Those who are on the east coast, stay safe!

I'm linking up to the host of Harvest Monday - see what is being harvested in everyone's garden around this time!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Harvest Monday

The hot pepper plants did not make it through the first frost, even though the weather has been very mild and quite beautiful ever since. So here are all the remaining hot peppers. There was another bucket full, but I only took a picture of one container. It's hard to see from the pics, because I didn't bother spreading them out, but I would say there are about 5-6lb of hot peppers total.

We grew: Cayennes (both finger type and some really big fat kind that we don't know the name of), Habaneros, Jalapenos, Bulgarian Carrots, Anaheims, Thai birds eye, and Jolokia peppers. The green ones are in paper bags, hoping that they will turn red inside...

I also harvested all the carrots from the hoop house. I thought of keeping them throughout the winter, but they looked very matured, and I didn't want them to get too tough and bitter with the warmth inside the hoop house. I rather plant something else in that space anyway. I think I am glad I pulled them up. It's definitely the best tasting carrots we've ever had and grown. Very sweet and crispy! I think these are "Shin Kuroda" carrots - I don't think they are supposed to be this short, but it's my fault, as I didn't prepare fluff the soil properly.

I have 2 more small patches of carrots outside. I'm not sure if they will reach maturity before the ground freezes. I may have to think about putting a cold frame around them.

I also had a small bed of Broccoli Raab that I sauteed with a bit of kale and garlic. Oh so yummy! The broccoli raab was heavily infested with aphids earlier, but I think the frost killed them all. I only wish I had planted a lot more of these. I am going to try growing them in the hoop house and see how they do. They are very fast to grow.

Something as simple as this plate of sauteed carrots and bok choi fresh picked from the garden can really make a big difference on the dinner table.

Now I have a lot of cleaning up to do in the garden .....

Make sure to go visit the host of Harvest Monday and see what's growing in everyone's garden!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Harvest Monday

So we also had our first frost here Saturday morning, but it got up to 70F during the day on Sunday. Crazy!

The beans and peppers are finished. The hot peppers are still hanging on the plants outside, hoping they will turn red or yellow. Maybe it's not going to happen anymore... I am not sure. My husband keeps telling me to pick them and put them in a brown bag - just like you would with green tomatoes. But I somehow I doubt it would work with the peppers.

I've picked all of the remaining sweet peppers before they had a chance to turn color. I will have a lot of peppers in the freezer for the winter. That is a good thing. It has really been a great pepper year!

Before the frost I had to pull up all the peanut plants, even thought they were not all completely matured. I got something like 3lb, but that will drop when I finish drying them.

I have been very behind on the fall garden planning and planting. Here is my tiny spinach, cabbage, and carrots that I don't think will have enough time to mature before the ground freezes.

These should have all been planted where the hoop house is going to go.... We started putting up the hoop house this weekend, and I realized that a lot of the things in the hoop house are already matured, like these carrots.
I am not sure whether I should just pull them up and plant something else, or keep them in the hoop house for winter harvest.

There are a lot of empty spaces in the hoop house that need some attention. I direct sowed lots of seeds almost a month ago, but they didn't germinate very well. I think I only have 1-2 each of lettuce and asian greens.
I did start germinating seeds indoors, but they are too leggy. Trying to save energy and didn't use the light fixture... big mistake! I don't know if I have enough time now to start another flat of seeds and transplant them in the hoop house. It all depends on the weather, I suppose.

Lastly, I've covered up my cauliflower and broccoli bed with plastic. They are overly crowded. I might take some of the smaller plants and move them into the hoop house. Just like the cabbages that are not covered, I'm not sure if they will have enough time to mature, but everything is an experiment for me this year.

So I have panted some things in wrong places at wrong times, but I'll know better next time.

In the meantime, I finished planting garlic, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

I'm linking up to the host of Harvest Monday, where the gardeners all over the world share their harvests and gardening techniques!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

It's already Friday, but here it is...

Not everything is from my garden, but I love this salad. A very simple salad with just apples, carrots, and water cress in lettuce cups. The carrots and water cress are from my garden. Water cress has been exploding especially with this cool weather. The initial germination was very poor, and it kept getting eaten by something during summer. But once they got going, they GOT GOING! I think it's one of those "love or hate" things, and both my husband and I love this unique taste. I hope that it will survive in the hoophouse to give us some fresh greens during the winter months.

So back to the salad, the water cress is actually optional. I've put in some raisins, which is nice. They are tossed in a very simple apple cider vinaigrette (apple cider vinegar + sugar + salt + dijon mustard + pepper + onion powder), and arranged in lettuce cups. The lettuce cups can also be cabbage cups, especially this time of year. Savoy might be really nice.

Tonight we are expecting 33F!!! I've covered up some things in the garden, hoping there won't be much damage....

I'm linking up to Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard at Robin's. Visit and see what kinds of exciting things are coming out of everyone's kitchens!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Harvest Monday

I always forget to take pictures of my harvests, but here are some pictures of the actual plants that I have been picking from. Although it has slowed down a lot, I still have a handful of something to eat from the garden everyday.

Sweet Peppers - The plants are still healthy and the peppers are FINALLY turning yellow/orange. I don't have any that will turn red this year, but these guys are as sweet as the reds. I'm very happy with these varieties. They will definitely be planted again next year.

Hot Peppers - We have several different kinds, but these cayennes are HUGE! They are also turning gorgeous red. Cannot wait to fire roast them and make our favorite hot wing sauce!

Here is a picture of Kale and some lettuce. Kale was planted in March, and it was heavily infested with cabbage loopers a few times. I gave up hope once, but I'm glad I didn't pull them up just yet. With the cooler weather and no more loopers around, it's starting to come back!

Here is more Kale, but these were planted about a month ago. They don't look much different than the ones above. They grow quick! There are some fall carrots to the right - they were planted in July. I think I'm going to let them go a while longer. Basil needs to come out though. It's starting to show brown spots because of the cold night temperatures.

The last standing cucumber plant for the year! It's a little strange to harvest a cucumber in October, but I'm not complaining.

Here are some of my fall/winter shots. I hope we won't have our first frost anytime soon, as these plants still need a lot of time till the maturity dates.


Cauliflower and Broccoli (very very crowded)

Wasabina (I think) and Arugula seedlings

 Happy Fall Harvesting!

I'm linking up to the host of Harvest Monday, where gardeners from all over the world share their harvests!