When the nights cool enough to thicken and to dark-spot the skins of the tomatoes, it is time to pull up the summer garden.
Today was the day the tomatoes spoke. With a bit of regret, I pulled out the withered remains of the most abundant, lush vegetable garden I have ever had. This Fall has been so mild I wondered if the garden might keep producing into December. The middle of November is not bad for a long growing season, though. I’ll take it!
Right before dismantling the tomato cages, I remembered I had planted potatoes (a first time try) in between each string bean plant. (They are companion plants.) The potato greenery died and blew away a few weeks ago. Wondering if there might actually be potatoes in the dirt, I got on my knees and started digging. Random sized potatoes popped up. Delighted with each find, I kept at it, finally ending up with enough for a whole baking pan of roasted potatoes…or Roasties, as my husband calls them. Thrilling!
Then it was on to the pomegranate tree. Since my husband’s google search, we now know not to harvest the pomegranates until the skins break open into a gaping jaw. By the way, did you know that pomegranates are one of nature’s highest nutrient foods? “Eat and get healthy!”
When I got to the kale/parsley patch, I just couldn’t pull it up. Each has made a remarkable comeback in the cooler weather of the last couple of months. I will wait for the frost to flatten them.
Crazy…how much produce came from this last picking of the season! Bounty everywhere!
As excited as I get by food coming from backyard dirt, not all was rosy when plopping the bowls of veggies on the counter top. As I was making dinner last night (a delicious meal baked in a sugar-baby pumpkin), I noticed three or four slow-moving, little black spots on the white cupboard doors. Hands messy with pumpkin goop, I couldn’t kill them at that moment. When my hands were finally clean, they were gone. “Eww!” I decided not to think about where they had gone. You cannot be squeamish living this intimately with the land.
About the pumpkin goop, my niece gave me the most unusual, fun, Fall recipe using a small sugar -baby pumpkin, stuffed with a Gruyère/bread mixture. The worst part of the prep is cleaning out the pumpkin. However, since it bakes for two hours, it would be a great dish for do-ahead company meals. The dish reminded me of Swiss food, lots of cheese and bread. I used the gluten-free Against the Grain Baguette
(http://www.againstthegraingourmet.com) for the bread. I recommend toasting the bread before using, so it holds its structure during the baking.
Here is the link to the recipe:
As I prepared the pumpkin dish, the gift for the day of garden labor was this beautiful sunset.
Enjoy Fall, Everyone!