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Misc/Chat Fall - Today in the garden I ....
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Where hiking boots go to die

    Fall - Today in the garden I ....

    In the garden today I:

    Stripped the Lazy Amish House beans from the vines. I'd just about run out of seed this spring and planted what I had. Maybe ten vines lived to become productive. They produced two shopping bags of pods for seed. I gave an envelope of seed to an Amish neighbor who'd helped me with some canning. At first she though I was offering her cash and she got that stern look and stiff back only a Amish housewife can get when she's done a Christian duty that requires no recompense. When she found out what was in the envelope and what the seeds were called she laughed and laughed.

    Picked the spineless okra pods I'd planted for seed. Between DH with his weed wacker and the pup beasting thru the garden there weren't may pods left. Promise myself next season I'll start them inside so we might get some to eat. It might not hurt if they were planted next to a fence.

    Found a pocket full of chestnuts. The strange thing is this year I haven't seen a single squirrel racing for the chestnuts or the black wall nuts.

    Picked a few a few sad looking tomatoes.
    Last edited by Old Gray Mare; 10-03-2017 at 05:02 PM.
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

  2. #2
    Feels good, doesn't it? It hit 78 degrees here today (after our first frost earlier in the week, although it didn't touch the gardens or fruit yet). I took full advantage, although I'm still recovering from having multiple molars pulled last Wednesday (my mouth still pounds when I bend over or lift much, but well... the weather isn't going to hold)

    We dug the potatoes, harvested the winter squash, and I pulled all the snap bean plants I'd left for seed. The weird thing was, there were tons of gorgeous, sweet and tasty small beans on the plants, along with quite a few dry pods with nice, healthy seed! If I didn't already have too many jars of beans in the cellar, I'd be busy canning them. As it is, I think we'll have them with a couple of meals and call it good.

    We're still getting red raspberries by the handful, but I think I finally picked the last of the blackberries off the thornless plants... One plant gave us over 2 gallons of berries! The last of the blueberries were picked last week... one of the best things I did in 1999 was to plant 24 blueberry bushes, divided between early, mid and late season. We start getting berries in late June, and often harvest the last sweet handful the first of October.

    I picked 5 bushels of apples off the Liberty apple tree, and another 2 off the MacFree... both are supposed to be "disease free" varieties, but what I've found fascinating is that they both produce many more perfect fruits (without any spraying at all for insects) than anything else on the farm. The Criterion apple tree, which is so close to the Liberty that their branches intertwine, has tons of super wormy apples... I'll probably get 1/2 bushel of good apples off it, and the rest will be horse apples.

    I'm planning on taking cuttings from the MacFree and Liberty and rooting them, and then planting them around the farm in places where we'll be cutting some "junk" wild apple trees. Some of the wild trees produce really good fruit, and we use a bunch of it for cider every year, but some are barely edible. Yes, the resulting trees will be standard sized and huge (unless I can keep them pruned back at least somewhat), but even if we can only pick the bottom third, they'll give us more clean fruit than we can ever use. And the deer will love the rest.

    I found a few nice side shoots on the broccoli- one was 6" across! I've left most of the plants to bloom, and a couple I'm letting set seed. The honeybees LOVE the blossoms, and so I let them bloom until they're almost done, then cut them back, and let them form heads again. If we want the heads for fresh eating (I've got over a bushel in the freezer already) I cut them, otherwise I leave them to bloom for the bees again. I love hearing and watching the busy little creatures work while I'm working alongside them.

    We'll be running tomatoes tomorrow through the Squeezo strainer, taking advantage of our last nice day before we've got several days of rain forecast. There's 4 bushels in the kitchen (not all will be ripe enough), another 2 on the deck spread out ripening on the table, and I just pulled 4 bushels out of the freezer from last week.

    I discovered that if I freeze them first, and then drain off the water (I usually just cut a corner of the bag off I froze them in and let the water/juice drain off), I get a super rich sauce that requires almost no cooking- saves a ton of time and propane, and the canned sauce tastes garden fresh. I didn't have room in the freezer for all of them this year, but every bit helps.

    Tomorrow I'll be making chili con carne, my "country tomato soup' (the recipe is on this site somewhere) and Manhattan clam chowder, all to can. I love it, because with the exception of the clams, every bit of the ingredients are from the farm, making them extremely economical to make, and it's wonderful to be able to pop open a jar on a chilly winter day. I hope we never have to go back to Campbells!!

    Those should use up half the tomatoes, a bushel of onions, a bushel of peppers, a peck of potatoes and a couple bunches of celery. The rest of the tomatoes will be made into spaghetti sauce to can. I hope I'm up to it!!

    We've still got two more apple trees to pick, but they're not ripe yet. They're usually very late, end of October varieties... the others were about a week ahead of schedule, and I hope these will be too, although I'll be happy if I can wait until I can get the root cellar cooled down a bit more.

    Then it will be cabbage and brussels sprouts, and we're done for the year! Time to reorganize the cupboards clean the kitchen (from floor to ceiling) and collapse!


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Central Iowa
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Gray Mare View Post
    Picked the spineless okra pods I'd planted for seed. Between DH with his weed wacker and the pup beasting thru the garden there weren't may pods left. Promise myself next season I'll start them inside so we might get some to eat. It might not hurt if they were planted next to a fence.
    This is why I put tomato cages around my brussel sprouts, which are starting to put on larger sprouts now. Hopefully by the time the big freeze comes we'll have some sprouts to eat.
    People are quick to confuse and despise confidence as arrogance but that is common amongst those who have never accomplished anything in their lives and who have always played it safe not willing to risk failure.


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