Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The End of the Season (Plus! I Cooked!)

Last week I was sure that summer was almost at it's end. The days were cooler, the trees just starting to change. This week it is back to being sweltering and I have to water all my plants lest they wither away!

Today we ate the last of the grapes. There were two lovely little bunches and every day we have been eating just one or two each. Concord grapes have always been my favorite and it was a riot to teach visiting friends how to eat them. It was a little sad, but I'm excited to trim the plant, stake it appropriately and see how much grows next year!

The tomatoes haven't produced nearly as well this year as usual, and the peas gave forth a paltry one meals worth. I was quite happy with the cucumber crop. One plant gave me four huge vegetables. Next year a lot of things are going to be moving around.

For example, rhubarb has been pathetic for two years now. I haven't even been able to pick one single stalk. Not to mention the ridiculously skinny asparagus. Both of which I wish I could grow well. Therefore, they are going to be moving to the "productive" side of the garden. Along with the strawberries. There's no good reason for them not to be much larger and healthier than they are.

Additionally, this fall is going to be a study in soil and how best to make it richer and more nutrient-laden.

The plant box? It has been my greatest joy this summer!! I have had several amazing salads out of the lettuce as well as being able to give away many bags to friends! If you need basil, please let me know. It grew along with the lettuce and I have much more than I will need for a large amount of pesto and dried leaves.

Here's a question for the world to answer for me: What is the deal with the green beans!? Do you see them!? The lettuce is the left half of the box, the green beans are the right. They are TALL and they are green and lush and leafy. But there are NO, absolutely none, not a single green bean! Just now are there a few little flowers budding, but it sure seems like I should have been able to harvest green beans by now. I know last year they came up at the same time as the peas.

I just wanted to build up my ego a bit, since it has been a good long time since I have cooked an actual dinner. My husband has not been starving, nay, I do feed him. However, it's usually very hodge-podge and last minute planning. Plus, he is quite adept at feeding himself...

Apples & dried cherries over a slow-roasted pork tenderloin.

Rosemary potatoes.

Onions and green beans. (dreadfully not from my own garden)

One of the yummier meals I have made in a while. I can't wait for lunch leftovers.


Anonymous said...

Do you think you'd be able to mail me some basil? Or do you think it would be ruined by the time it got here? I love to make pesto, but basil is just so expensive here and I didn't get to do any planting this year! Let me know what you think!

Anne said...

You know, I don't know why I couldn' would be wilty, but you could still use it I think.

Anonymous said...

If you decide to mail some, let me know how much it costs and I'll send you out some money! Hey, can you tell me when you're due? I'm trying to get a package together for you of all the things I couldn't have lived without the first time around and I want to make sure I don't wait too long!
I even have a homemade baby wipes recipe I want to send saved us so much on buying wipes (even though we did use the store bought wipes for the diaper bag...they just travel easier).

Anne said...

I am due January 5th...I'm currently about half way!! I'm exciting you're sending a package!! Woo!

I was thinking about homemade wipes also!! A friend of mine was recommending using flannel fabric and one of the wipe warmers to store them in...the recipe will be great!

Jean said...

Ooo oooo!! I'll take some basil!! I need to dry a ton to fill up my little jar.

Your meal looks amazingly tasty! I can almost smell it through the picture. :)

Kristina said...

If your soil isn't nitrogen rich, you'll get lots of leaves, but no beans. Do you use an innoculant powder to coat your seeds before you plant them? I bought an innoculant and coated all my beans and peas with it and they produced a lot. I even coated a zucchini seed with it and I got 18 vegetables off the one plant alone so far. The other non-innoculated zucchini plant gave me 2, then died.

It would be worth buying the innoculant (I know Mackenize seeds sells them-- if you get that brand where you are). You won't need the whole package (one package contains about 1/4 - 1/2 cup), but you can work the rest of it into the soil and it will provide more nitrogen to the roots. You could also put grass clippings in your garden to provide a bit more nitrogen and act as a mulch to keep weeds down.

Also, I plant nasturtiums throughout my garden because the nasturtium plant is a good companion plant that will naturally fertilize plants around it. And I plant sacraficial basil next to my tomato plants because they feed off each other and my tomato plants are falling over with fruit even after I staked them well.

Anne said...

That's some good info about the inoculate...I'll have to look into that for sure for next year.

And I usually do marigolds with my veggies to keep bugs away, but I'm happy to plant more flowers in the garden if they are helpful!! Though my tomato plants are already falling over themselves...They just go crazy every year. It's unbelievable!

Thanks for the advice!!