Saturday, September 4, 2010

Good Morning, Everyone. We had nice cool weather yesterday and will have more of the same today. I definitely am not complaining. Mom and I have been shifting mentally into fall mode for the last couple of weeks. We realized that when we decided two weeks ago not to get any salad fixings because we simply don't want summer salads any more. We are thinking more and more of the cool weather meals like chillies, soups and casseroles. It time for the seasons to change and we look forward to that. I have taken several spent pepper plants and the globe basil out of the garden containers and replaced them with mums and some spare marigolds and portulaca. Mom suggested I leave the mums in place and see if they survive the winter. I will do that. If they survive I can split the plants and pot them in the spring for use next fall. If they don't I can simply replace them next year.

We were taking stock of what we have produced this year something a lot of the gardening bloggers I read are also doing. Some go so far as to measure in how many pounds of veggies they get. Given the small size of my planting area we measure more in how many meals we can get with the produce we harvested or how much of what we would normally buy that we won't have to because of what we have produced. Here are our calculations so far: 1) we won't need to buy any cayenne pepper for the next two years. We have enough drying on a line in the kitchen or that are dry in baggies in the fridge and more is ripening. Next year we will plant some other hot pepper in its place. 2) We have harvested all of the eggplant we would normally eat over a year plus some. We have already had our fill of fried eggplant and have more frozen fresh without any cooking, frozen cooked, and dried. We will try all three over the winter. Next year won't plant the fairy tales variety but will plant the ichiban andonly two plants. 3) We got a good harvest out of our Big Bertha bell peppers and False Alarm (minimally hot jalapeno style variety) and cow's horn cayenne plants; not so good out of the Mexibelle (too small--don't know why), poblano (won't plant again--we only need 8 good sized ones for stuffing with cheese and ours don't get large enough); and a modest yield from the gypsies. We put up a lot of frozen bell pepper slices and dried a lot more of all varieties. I will definitely plant the Big Bertha variety again along with the False Alarm but will put in something else in place of the others. 4) We got a very good yield out of the Fresh Salsa variety of tomatoes which we put into a fresh salsa that lasted most of the summer, cooked spicy tomato some of which is still frozen (we used some already), and some we dried. We only got a moderate harvest from the Big Rainbow and Brandywine varieties. I want to try to start the tomatoes very early next year and get them out early under plastic, and, hopfully, they will produce before the summer heat takes hold. We figure we produced about one-third of the tomatoes we normally use. 5) The yardlong beans produced very well and we have five quarts in the freezer for the winter. That should be enough until next summer when I plan to add Blue Lake pole beans to the garden as well. I also saved seeds from the yardlong that I will plant next year. Since that is an heirloom variety so that should not be a problem. We will see. 6) Our sage, thai basil, stevia, and lavender plants have done very nicely. I will try taking cuttings of those to root inside over the winter. The globe basil is a very pretty plant and smells wonderful but the thai basil is just as pretty and the leaves are easier to harvest. Next year I want to expand the herbs to include thyme, marjoram, rosemary, and other culinary species.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

You are so ambitious. May I borrow a cup of evergy?