Dang global warming anyway. It got up into the upper 80s here today, maybe 90. This is not supposed to be happening in November in coastal southern California. It has been hot ever since, um, August I think. Normally the weather cools off by mid September, which marks when we can start our fall planting here. I gave up and planted anyway on Friday last week, installing 6 Dividend broccoli plants, 6 savoy cabbages, 6 Candid Charm cauliflower plants, 3 parsley plants, and a clump of chives. I also planted over 40 garlic cloves. I kind of lost track.
Here is my overly enthusiastic order of garlic: Early Italian, California Early, Sonoran, and Ajo Rojo. The Ajo Rojo was gorgeous, with red streaked giant cloves. The cloves of the Sonoran separated easily. I planted cloves from one bulb from each of these bags, which will grow into over 40 bulbs, which is probably more than I need, and am still left with 11 bulbs of garlic. ACK. Now what? I got 15 bulbs for about $57 from Burpee, so they’re too expensive to eat. Visit Dave’s blog at Our Happy Acres–see right panel for a link–to see his suggestions for garlic. I’m thinking that if he planted 70 sq ft of garlic (more than double the size of my front garden bed, BTW) that I can probably plant some more. But if anyone in HB wants to buy some of these pricey garlic bulbs, let me know. I plan to put more into my community garden plot.
The tomato crop is definitely winding down. These two will probably go into guacamole along with a couple of my avocados and some green onions from pots along the driveway. I make every spare inch of my yard (and driveway) produce! Below are some of my green onions and a planter of strawberries. In the driveway!
I am still getting bell peppers, and it has been so hot that the darn things are still setting fruit. Not that I’m complaining. I even have a few tomatoes left on my Box Car Willie, Mortgage Lifter, Early Girl, and one of the oxheart tomatoes.
This was my breakfast this morning, all from the garden and henhouse. Miss Hillary is still the only hen laying. Henrietta is too old to lay, Chicken Little is slacking off, and the two Barred Rock pullets that I raised from baby chicks, Peep and Cheep, are still too young. Their voices are changing though. It is so cute to hear them peep and then croak. They are about three and a half months old now, and are still adorable. For chickens.
The back beds are slowly giving up their summer crops, and are nearing readiness for fall planting. At least the middle bed is ready to plant. The other two still have tomatoes and bell peppers and an eggplant, all of which are bearing very late fall crops. Global weirding.
I have more crops nearing harvest time. Like some small Fuji apples, about three dozen limes, and over 30 Navel oranges.
And here is my pride and joy right now, our first 21st Century Asian Pear!!!
I am hoping that it will get ripe. It set fruit really late in the season, and is the first Asian pear from this tree. Our Shinseiki Asian pear chose not to set any fruit again this year. But eventually we hope to have fruit from both Asian pears, three varieties of apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, and Gala), two varieties of oranges (Navel and Valencia), two varieties of nectarines (Snow Queen and Panamint), four kinds of peaches (Garden Gold, Babcock Improved, Florida Prince and August Pride), two kinds of lemons (Eureka and Meyer), plus Bearrs limes, Littlecado avocado, a Santa Rosa plum tree and a Fuyu persimmon tree. That is my little mini-orchard. In addition I have Red Flame seedless grapes that set fruit but didn’t produce any grapes, some struggling blueberry bushes, a thornless blackberry that never gives me much of anything, and two planters of Sequoia strawberries, with two more planters waiting to be planted with Chandler strawberries. Um, unless I bought Quinault strawberries. Can’t remember.
Last week I cooked a pork tenderloin in the solar oven along with a butternut squash, apple, red onion, ginger, orange juice, red wine, and raisins. It was so good that I did it again this week, using maple syrup in stead of the brown sugar. The butternut, ginger, and apple were from my garden.
Peel, core and dice one apple. This one is a Granny Smith from our tree. Grate the zest from one orange with a microplane grater and add it to the apple in the pan that you will use in the solar oven.
Brown the pork loin in a skillet and transfer to the pot for the solar oven. Peel, seed and cube the butternut squash and add to the pork. Slice the red onion (I used 1/2 onion because it was big) and add on top of the pork. Squeeze the orange and add the juice to the pot. Grate about 1-2 tsp fresh ginger with a microplane grater and add to the pot. Soak 1/2 C raisins in 1/2C red wine plus 2 T maple syrup for about half and hour, and add to the pot. Be sure to have some of the wine while you’re cooking. Oh, wait, we have to start early in the day with solar cooking. Might be a bit early for wine. You can get potted later.
Cover the pot and cook in a solar oven (I use a Sun Oven brand oven and LOVE it.) I started preheating the solar oven about 11 am, and put the pork dish in around noon. It was done by 4 pm.
I made cornbread to go with the pork dish. My husband served it up, separating the pork and the squash for a more attractive presentation. We polished off the bottle of red wine with dinner. YUM.
As you can see, I’m combining Kitchen Cupboard Thursday with Harvest Monday. We had some homemade bread-and-butter pickles on tuna sandwiches this week. The fruit is a peeled Fuyu persimmon from a friend’s tree. I can hardly wait until I have persimmons from my own tree. These are crisp, sweet fruits from Japan, without the astringency of the wild persimmons from the American Midwest.
6 oz Lemon, Meyer
6 oz bell peppers
1 oz Ginger
2 oz Green Onion
TOTAL 15 oz produce plus 4 eggs
Hey, don’t laugh. My garden is small and it’s late in the season.
If you had a harvest, or to see what others are harvesting, visit Daphne’s Dandelions. Or if you used something stored from your garden, visit Robin at the Gardener of Eden. See panel at right for links.