As someone has asked, here is a list of what grew in our little 20 by about 30-35 ft garden. Yes, I plant things as concentrated as you can and still let the light through. Almost everything we're growing (except corn) is an heirloom variety. This picture is about two weeks old, and from this corner (and this time of year) it's impossible to get a complete perspective of the amount of green growing inside this garden safely (we hope) enclosed by a temporary deer fence). Tomatoes.......................... 8 Stupice: Czechoslovakian origin, extremely early, cold-tolerant. Bears abundant clusters of 1-2 oz flavorful and sweet tomatoes. Heavy yields all season. IDEAL for the NW. Tastes great & cans well. 2 SunGold: Cherry type, orange color, prolific, sweet tasting, the vines grow huge and lay over surrounding plants. ONLY buy ONE! 1 Sweet 100: Cherry type, red, moderate yield, so so taste. Last year we'll grow this one. (Not according to Rodger....he likes this one.) 1 Moskovich: Russian Slicer. Big, moderate yield, but delicious. Only buy one. 1 Jaune Flambe: Gourmet Orangish slicer and absolutely the finest taste. Low Yield though and runs risk of blight at our elevation. Needs warmer weather. Last year for this. 11 Tomatillo: *8 were volunteers. They're like green tomatoes in a husk and are the basis for Tomatillo Salsa ("Salsa Verde") We can about 40+ pints every summer off our few plants. The recipe will be posted later. PEPPERS: 2 Fatalli *a strange Habanero. LATE to yield, but like all peppers, can be dried and saved. Yes, a HOT one. Habanero - regular. Late as the Fatalli. 4 Serranos - good yield, and we'll grow, use, save some every year. 1 Tri-Color Variegata -- a very small purple VERY HOT pepper. Unique and beautiful. 1 Cucumber - English Slicer. 1 Cucumber - Suyo Long. - from China. Produces a very long weirdly curved dangling fruit that's used just like the English slicer. 90 Corn (Stalks) - Golden Jubilee - selected because it grows so well at our altitude. We will be harvesting about 150 ears in the next three weeks. 10 Giant Sunflowers - - - First one just starting to bloom. These will hang on stalks late into the fall until birds have eaten most of the seed. SQUASH 1 Crookneck - doing well as always. 1 "Long Island Cheese" --- (really a pumpkin, and a pumpkin most recommended for baking. THIS information we have found SINCE the monster grew up around everything) We had NO idea! This is a pumpkin really, and vines have taken over everything...............this will be explained more in a post by itself. __Potatoes - Finnish Fingerlings.... ALL volunteer every year. Small white gourmet delicious potato we store in the garage till they're all gone. 1 Carrot half row (for doggy treats) 3 Rhubarb Great year. We'll have had 6 cuttings this year from this great perennial. All three are from one root given to us by Peter, our neighbor. Lettuce **Several leaf varieties and Romaine fed us and some others throughout the summer. The last ones for 2006 are just sprouting HERBS: 4 Basil - misc types, and will only grow three next year. Good stuff. 1 Oregano - 2 cuttings (and all herbs dried / saved. 2 Thyme - 2 cuttings 1 Rosemary - lovely plant 3 Celery - 2 Parsley - Used it ALL....plant three next year 2 Leeks - volunteer each year 1 Shallot grouping....using them now 2 Chives - virtually a year round treat 1 Bay Laurel 1 Loveage - celery like 1 Sorrel - sourgrass, a little tangy bite for your salad 1 Epizote - for MX cooking Cilantro - several plantings and ALL of it used. Last bunch just sprouting now. That's all for now...............
A person very dear to me all my life was my first (& longest) piano teacher, Marilee. After years of being out of touch, we got together and had a fabulous chat a couple of years ago since she lives just south of us. Since then, we've shared many e-mails. Just recently, she sent a list of statements made by people at different ages and one made my throat crimp a little, and then today, actually made me miss Mom: â€œNO matter your relationship with your parents, you miss them when they die.â€ You could have also said no matter how OLD you are when your parents die, you will miss them. Why today? We spent a good part of the day slaving in the kitchen for an end result of 9 quarts of finished product (just some salsa and stewed tomatoes). Between a trip to the store for more onions, picking the stuff out of the garden, cleaning, peeling, coring, seasoning, adding onion/celery, preparing cookpots, processing bath, cooking, pouring into bottles, sealing up, cleaning up cleaning up, getting processing going, timing it, lifting bottles out, having racks ready for cooling, cooling, cleaning stove, floor, dishes, putting things away, I just wanted to ask MOM........... HOW DID YOU DO THIS EVERY SUMMER moving at HIGH SPEED and LONG HOURS in AUGUST for so MANY things we ATE ALL WINTER? Yes. This hobby garden is so rich an experience all the way through except on canning days. Every canning day, there's a period you're wondering WHY am I doing this, and reminding yourself, "You know, you can BUY Stewed Tomatoes and Chili Verde stuff at the Grocery Store." ......... (WELL..............not seasoned like the "stuff" you make at home) Thank God, that's short lived, because I'm already glad we did it. This evening, I still miss Mom and am thinking of her amazing productive life here. SO much of her life was completely driven by love of her family.
I don't think Krysta will mind my sharing what her Stevie will be doing this fall in his first year at Kindergarten. The reason I'm posting this is that the post just before this you can compare the life of the gardener in this our LATE SUMMER SEASON, a most busy period: Not bad, eh? What a life!
In the Rain Forests of the Northwest, our annual summer period of dry weather isnâ€™t long. However. This August is turning out to be completely dry and temperatures are alternating between cooler than normal and some 85-90 degree days. Nights are beginning to cool a bit and daylight ending earlier. Perfection for enjoyment and a gardenerâ€™s late summer wish. If this continues, we will have a record harvest for everything we grow. As the garden matures, you DO make a list of things you gotta do. Things you have to have from a store for canning. Etc Etc. There ARE signs summer is getting long in the tooth though. Recognize some of them? How about some 9â€™ tall corn and 9â€™ tall sunflower stalks? How about Dahlias that werenâ€™t planted until second week of June? Fantastic, eh? Itâ€™s always fun to see these and KNOW this beautiful flower continues blooming into October. How about when the marigold plants are nothing but solid golden blooms beautifully rich in that gold by the way. I have already begun to pick off some of the old worn blooms, sad to report. Yes, the annuals are trying to say, â€œTime to go to bed, letâ€™s make seed while the sun shines.â€ When the zinniaâ€™s are this fully bloomed and just showing signs of age, you have another sign of summerâ€™s age. Yep, when the statuary are taking siestas in the these quiet lazy afternoon sun spurts, itâ€™s August. This is two days of harvest. By next week it will be every dayâ€™s harvest and canning will be on the agenda. Yes, the plants are beginning to sag from the weight, but the late summer sign actually is that there are NO more blooms coming on. When your NW Garden has hot peppers ripening, you know the season is getting late. But itâ€™s fabulous that a few mature in time to use in your Tomatillo Salsa. These little papery husk covered Tomatillos are filling out those husks and a small basketful are doing so every day now. Hereâ€™s the ingredients for Tomatillo Salsa. Easy, no? Easy yes, but time consuming cleaning, peeling, chopping, dicing, adding, cooking, bottling, cleaning up, doing the water-bath, cooling, storingâ€¦..We will be doing this Salsa every 3-4 days now through mid-September. Yep, the fabulous lettuce weâ€™ve been eating now for 3 months, is bolting and will turn bitter soonâ€¦..eating THIS fresh produce will be missed. Oh itâ€™s grand to pick and eat baby crooknecks. As packed in and big as the squash plants are now, you know theyâ€™ll soon be gone. And yes, we ALL know what a sweet meal these ears are going to be in a couple weeks. We estimate there are about 120 ears, so I believe Freezing some cut corn is in the works. Yeah, THIS was a strange one. We have limited squash plants to two per season and picked varieties that donâ€™t take over, right? Well, we grabbed this one without doing the research. Called a "Fatall II Squash, the vines above are only a tiny portion of how many there really area. They are taking over the fence, spurting out about a foot a day. I found the tag last night and it doesnâ€™t even mature to ripe squash up to 100 days. A month to go? Whew! Mistake. Yes, I guess you get the idea. Late Summer and the rush is on. ALL of nature is moving into the reproduction/save-yourself before itâ€™s too late phase. Gardeners are drawn into this vortex. After preparing, planting, nursing babying feeding watering this little square of land for 2-3 months, one becomes captive to preserving the results in memory to enjoy during the wet grey days of winter. That will get you to repeat the garden process AGAIN next year. So yes, weâ€™re a little energized right now. In another later post, I am going to enter ALL the plant varieties grown in that little square garden this year. I wrote them down last night while out there, and surprised even myself how many herbs alone we now grow. In other news. Late summer means some maintenance jobs are done. Just finished the deck refinishing that should hold for about 3 more years: Iâ€™ve been amazed that a little home-made bird feeder we threw together ten years ago from â€œsticksâ€ and a few wood pieces on hand is still hanging in the same place from the walnut tree. Itâ€™s held by the same baling string we put it up with and now actually looks better than ever in itâ€™s weathered state: The birds love it. On the other hand, many birds have already left, others are almost gone, and some are thinking about leaving. Our beautiful goldfinches are mostly gone, and the few left have lost their breeding color so these feeders are just sitting. I will have to clean â€˜em out and store until next May. Remember the berm? It is FINALLY beginning to show signs of life. Yes, there are still weeds in there, but hope is sprouting from seeing so many plantings survive their second summer: So you tell me. IS it late summer? OK. Gotta go water a garden and pick tomatoes. Did I tell you about the garden in late August?
MARK Says: We first tried this last year when we had so many Roma Tomatoes ripening at once that we decided to try this, and the result was an outstanding â€œfreshâ€ sauce. We froze many pints to use laterâ€¦â€¦and in December/January, a Meatball Spaghetti dish with THIS fresh sauce reminded us of summer. Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s not only the fresh tomatoes that made this great, but the fresh herbs we were able to use from the gardenâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..It is a variation on one from the internt, yes. FRESH TOMATO SAUCE 2 tb Olive oil 1 md Yellow onion; finely chopped 2 lg Garlic cloves -- peeled and mashed 2 1/2 lb Ripe fresh tomatoes (we used 3 lbs or so) -or- Imported canned tomatoes -- drained, in 1/2" dice -- reserve juice 2 TB Fresh rosemary; chopped 2 ts Fresh sage; chopped 1 TB Fresh parsley; chopped 3 TB Basil â€“ chopped Salt and pepper; to taste 1/2 to 3/4 cup dry white wine Hill and Barclay write: "This tomato sauce, made without the usual paste, is wonderful to keep on hand in the freezer for pasta, omelets, and grilled meats and poultry." Heat olive oil in large skillet over moderately high heat; sautÃ© onion and garlic until softened. Add tomatoes gradually, keeping heat as high as possible without browning. Stir in herbs, wine and any reserved tomato juice; reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or just until vegetables are softened and fragrant. Add more wine or water if needed, to prevent sticking and maintain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Yield: About 4-5 cups.
After reading Cilantro is more a cool weather plant than I had thought (I "assumed"...no comments please) it was from the desert regions to match the food you usually see it served with........... I have planted cilantro today, Aug 23 both commercial seed and seed from an old dying plant that dried on their own. Fun Test ! !! PLanted lettuce also and never have this late. Picked lots o' tomatoes so thinking of freezing some of that fresh tomato sauce w/herbs that made fantastic italian pasta sauce last winter. In fact, I'll post that recipe right after this.
Gardeners move into the late summer stages of their hobby working in a space no longer easy to move around in considering the size of the plants now, but we still have some worries. There are still fine lines between bug infested or blight failures, dry rot, mole destruction, or absolute beautiful success. We decide we think weâ€™re going to win once more this summer. These herbs (Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme underneath) are now either IN the oven at 80 degrees with a slightest of blowing air that cures them beautifully in about 4 hours, or are laid flat in a back room to begin drying: This basket was full of aroma so pleasing that even MAC thought well of them: The Corn has been forced into a ripening phase by a decision to cut off the tassles now that weâ€™ve decided the ears have all been pollinated. A pic this evening shows the last of our Golden Jubilee Corn at itâ€™s heighth: We took that picture, tried to help the last of pollination by a little more dusting of a cut tassel onto ears, then clip clip clipâ€¦â€¦â€¦all the tassels cut off. Hereâ€™s the corn pic a few minutes later: detassled. You get the idea. The corn stalks were cut about 6-10 inches above the ears! Yeah, thatâ€™s it, a haircut! The LAST haircut, eh? Some suggest that this de-tasseling helps concentrate the cornâ€™s energy this last couple of weeks into the earsâ€¦..a CORN REPORT will be due, eh? Weâ€™re picking a few tomatoes each day, with at hundreds of green ones just beginning that ripening phase. I see some canning coming up there. Weâ€™ve already put up four 5-pint batches of Tomatillo Salsa. By the way, what are gonna do with the few hundred apples that will be ready for harvest within the next 30 days: Tonight. We rest. Garden must have itâ€™s two hour watering tomorrow and the corn gets itâ€™s LAST liquid Kelp Tea (liquid compost) spray). We DID meet Pete and Sonya at Portland Nurseryâ€™s Division St Location so they could review water features for their homeâ€¦.. They know someone working there who can help them make it more â€œaffordableâ€. Funny thing, we ended up at WONGâ€™s KING Seafood Kitchen with at least 200 Chinese Dim Sum Celebrants for a fabulous brunch, and afterward, just across the street found statuary and fountains being made by a Russian Family for half the price being asked for at the Nursery. The company is: A-1 Bird Bath Co. Inc. 4725 S. E. Division Street Portland, OR 97206 NO, itâ€™s not absolutely polished fine-cut art. Itâ€™s rough hewn molded concrete pieces put together that will look beautiful in a garden/yard spot. After six months in a NW garden, the green moss, etc, any brush flaw will be unseen. And the price? Itâ€™s just right. Oh well. Enough for now.
Gary Egnew I just cried a little. An old work-mate friend I haven't talked to since 1978 when the company moved me from SLC to California just passed away from a heart attack in Salt Lake City at the ripe age of 56. His Dad also worked at CF and died of a heart attack about the same age as Gary did. Genetics, eh? He and I spent many nights and weekends for 5 years on the same 2 man dispatch team at CF so were pretty close. Despite a truly romantic marriage and 3 children, Gary's wife passed away from a brain tumor within 10 years of their honeymoon. Gary Egnew remained one of the most positive upbeat people I have ever met, and perhaps that makes me grieve. He was a role model in living happily. I was surprised after these many years have passed to feel so many warm memories once again flow through my being. An old friend is always in the heart, eh?
Nothing says summer like elegant flowers that put your nose in a swoon: The exotic Asia Lily perennially comes up in the same pot every year and by August puts out about 12-15 of these long lasting blooms that smell as exotic as they look. As a cut flower they will last a week. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Yes, the common and sometimes considered invasive "Butterfly Bush" is usually lavendar, but we have at least and only ONE that lavishes these gorgeous white flowerlets. The smell is intoxicating to butterflies and hummingbirds and even for me. However, I'm not sure of it's romantic beauty since sometimes a whiff of the Butterfly Bush flowers brings back memories of being at a big funeral where hundreds of flowers are....yes, it's a dense rich smell here that these little creamy flowers bring back. The fabulous Dahlias that I put in months too late are actually going to bloom it appears. Can't wait.