Category Archives: Gardening
By Barbara Pleasant Thick mulch will help keep soil cool, a boon to fall broccoli and brassicas like this kohlrabi seedling. Photo by MOTHER EARTH NEWS Staff Is there some secret to growing good fall crops of broccoli and other cabbage family crops? I start the seedlings indoors, but as soon as I set them […]
It has been long over due, but we finally harvested the celery.We had sorely neglected the Celery. I had not been watering it or fertilize it for some time. We have had a week of frost. We are lucky that it survived such neglect on my part. We sorted through it all and discarded any damaged celery. We cut it into sizes that would allow it to fit into our sink. I washed it 3 times in a vinegar water solution. We put it in my dish drying rack to dry.
We froze the choice celery to slice and placed them in bags for cooking. The rest we sliced in one inch section and placed it in the deyhydrator. I figured it would fall through the dehyrator as it dried, if I made it in smaller pieces. We dried it for a couple of days.
Then I took garlic bulbs and cut the root off and pulled the leaves off the cloves. I placed them in the dehydrator to dry. It took a couple of days to dry. We put the dried garlic and celery into the food processor to pulverized them. I will say it took longer than you would think to pulverize them, but that can be because of my food processor is very old. Then we pour Himalayan salt into the powder. We put it in a jar and now we can use it as seasoning. The flavor is amazing.
It’s time to harvest our crop.
The potatoes were huge.
We picked all the tomatoes, bell pepper, cantaloupe and pulled the plants and composted them. Unfortunately most of the tomatoes are varying shades of green. I will put them in window sill and paper bags. I am dehydrating some to make sun-dried tomatoes. We are talking about making fried green tomatoes tomorrow. I have never eaten them, but have been told they are delicious. The cantalope were pretty to look out but unripe. We composted them. We are airing out the poly tunnel. We cleaned out our storage room.
We need to hang it in the attic for the season in the next couple of days that is weather permitting. We need to harvest the celery. Clean the mini green house inside and out. It is filthy. Then we need to lay hay around the roots of the celery. I will have to wait until spring to see if they have survived. Then I can place my ceramic pots that contain my spices in it to protect them from harsh weather. We have had frost 3 days in a row. We need to clean,dry and store our garden furniture. The grass looks like it needs one more grass cutting for the season. We should be pretty much set for the winter.
We have four melons. unfortunately one had a rotten spot on it. I had to throw it in the compost. It was too green to eat. It was bigger than this one in the picture. We are going to be able to successfully grow melons but we will have to start them very early in the spring. There is no way they will have time to ripen this year, because July was so rainy. Lesson learned. I still can’t believe that we were able to grow melons in Sweden. I am amazed that we did this well on our second attempt at growing melons.
Bell pepper are doing very well. This year it looks like we will have green pepper instead of red ones. The weather played a huge roll in it.
The celery is doing great. I will have to take it in before the frost. This year I will leave the root in the ground covered with hay for the winter. We will see if they survive until next spring. If they do my celery stalks should be bigger. It will be interesting to see if it works out. I have no idea why hubby didn’t photograph the tomatoes.I have been harvesting them this week. I am making a lot of sun dried tomatoes. We of course are cooking with them as well. They are delicious.
We let our lettuce this year and last year go to seed. I was shocked at how tall the lettuce grew.The roots were bigger and deeper that I thought they would be. Even my neighbors asked me if they were a rare variety of lettuce. I explained that We just picked the lettuce leaves for our daily needs and it grew like this. The author of the post did point out that lettuce can become bitter. I agree with her and that it did draw in the pollinators into the garden.
I have written a lot about our feeding birds and about the bird houses all over the farm. I love the bird’s song and bird watching. Last week my husband was washing dishes and a little bird peeked in at him through the kitchen window. The bird was perched on the Ivy vine that is climbing the back of the house. It came in the window sill and sang to him.
He was very moved by this special visit. We feed the birds from late fall until spring when hatchling have left their nests. When our feeders are empty, the birds thump their bodies against the windows to let us know the feeders need to be refilled.The first couple of times they did this we thought it was a fluke occurrence,but we soon realized it was intentional. He interpreted this visit as reminder that it was time to set out the bird feeders.
We do cover the strawberry plants with nets. We have so many birds that they would devour the strawberry patch in nothing flat. We do have a pear tree in our garden spot. We leave it for the birds ,moose and deer. When the fruit is ripe they take no time to pick it clean, in no time at all.
This article has given me food for thought. I guess we will be planting sunflowers in the garden for the birds next year. I will have to make a water feature for our frogs and birds.
Today we had a break in the weather this morning. It was beautiful and crisp fall morning. Our trees in our area have begun to change to their fall colors.
The picture above is how our strawberry patch look at the end of this gardening season.The picture below is from early this spring, when I transplanted them from the smaller wooded bed beside it. The funny thing is if you look close at these two pictures CoCo is in both of those photos. She likes to lie under the pear tree and watch us work.
Hubby said I am going to finish weed eating the last bed for the season. We had two rows in front of the carrots left to weed. He planned to take down the wooded supports for the peas and the strings down. The picture below is how it looks now. The potates and carrots are not ready to be harvested yet.
Today I was working in the house. I was throwing in a few loads of laundry. I decided to wash our hall Rag rug. The rug was filthy from all the rain we have had. The season is changing quickly and such sunny days are rare. Dark clouds and hard winds started coming in over us. Miss Piggy showed up and made our work harder. She decided to help hubby dig in the garden. Our dogs are trained to stay out of our vegetable garden beds. I spent a half hour running around training Miss Piggy. My dogs were just a tired of her as I was by the time I took her home. She was overly excited and biting them too hard.
Despite the strange unpredictable summer weather, we had a great corn crop. We have had 2 almost 3 weeks of torrential rains and flooding. Farmers in our area have lost crops. Roads washed out…. This weekend we had a break in the weather. We did not know how long the sunshine would last . We dressed warm and hurried outside and harvested the corn. We could see that the rain made mildew damage on the outer leaves of the cobs. We worked together in an assembly line ankle-deep in mud and water. The dogs were treated with the smallest cobs, which they devoured. Hubby pulled the stalks and I shucked the corn. We composted everything else.
When we finished at the end of the day, we had 78 plus pristine ears of corn. We froze them. We had about that many ears of corn that were white kernels not yellow (not fully matured). We had corn cobs that had blotches of kernels on them. I made cream of corn with them. I have had cream of corn in the US before, but not in Sweden. I decided to try to make it myself. I love using it in corn bread recipe (American recipe), because it makes the bread so moist. It was a wonderful fall day. We marveled over the success of our crop.
I cut the kernels off the cobs with a knife. I put 70% of them in the food processor to finely chop them up. I put the other 30 percent and mixed them up in a pan together. I put butter, cream and turkish yoghurt in it. I seasoned it with salt and garlic to taste. I cooked them on a low setting. I let it cool and placed it in plastic ziplock bags in the freezer.
I guess I just like a challenge!