Harvest to date, end of Sept 2012

Our summer garden season is winding down, but it is still too hot to plant the winter garden. It’s supposed to be safe to plant cool season veggies by mid-September, but not this year. Not with global climate change. We have temps predicted for the mid 80s on the coast next week. Too hot for here for this time of year.

The conical pepper at the left is a Giant Szegedi, a Hungarian sweet bell pepper. First time I’ve grown that variety. These are the ingredients for a breakfast, all from our yard, even the eggs.

The Hale cantaloupe is from my community garden plot, and the bread is pumpkin bread made with one of my own pumpkins, along with a red bell pepper frittata.

I added up my harvests to date, and am up to 270 lbs. I know you Midwesterners and New Englanders with your big yards are going to scoff at that, but for my tiny southern California yard, that ain’t bad. But that is also counting my 14 ft x 20 ft at the community garden. Well, I didn’t get it planted until mid July, so I missed half a year. I really couldn’t have handled more produce than what I got anyway. I  will not likely hit my goal of 350 lbs of produce for the year. Maybe I should have set a goal of 300 lbs. That seems more achievable. Next year.

This basket contains two Granny Smith apples from my tree in back, two Buttercup squash, a Sugar Baby watermelon, three Ping-tung long eggplants, a Crimson Sweet watermelon and the last patty pan of the season.

All five butternut squash and the same two Buttercup squash.

I removed the seeds from this butternut, peeled it and sliced it into 1/3 inch slices, fried them in half butter, half olive oil, and marinated them in 1/2 C cider vinegar, 1/4 C basalmic vinegar, 1T brown sugar, (Boil down this marinade by half, then add:) 2 T olive oil, 2 T slivered basil and 1/2 C walnuts. Served chilled. Yummy.

My entire harvest of pumpkins, three little Rouge VIF d’Tampes. Also, my entire harvest of blue potatoes.

The blue potatoes and some wax beans went into this dish: 1 lb potatoes cut into pieces and simmered in water until done, 1 C pasta such as penne cooked in water until done, a few handfuls of green beans (I used wax beans because that’s what I had), steamed until done. Mix these three ingredients and add a pesto sauce. I used 1/2 C olive oil, 1/4 C pine nuts, 1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 C fresh basil leaves. Serve either hot or cold. The watermelon is one of my Crimson Sweets.

I haven’t been very good at keeping up with Harvest Monday at Daphne’s Dandelions or Kitchen Cupboard Thursday’s at Robin’s. Too busy with work, grandkids, trips, photography, gardening and canning. It’s a great life. Next week, I’m off to Yellowstone and the Tetons for a photo workshop, leaving my hubby behind to care for the chicks, hens, and garden.

Our Barred Rock chicks are two months old. I guess they are pullets at this stage. I just put them in the coop with the big hens yesterday, with nooks for them to hide if they’re chased. So far, all is well. They should feed together nicely without fighting within a week or two.

About Lou Murray, Ph.D.

I'm a professional writer/photographer, avid gardener, and active environmentalist living in southern California. I am retired from writing a weekly newspaper column on environmental topics in the Huntington Beach Independent, but I am still teaching at the Orange County Conservation Corps. This blog chronicles my efforts to live a green life growing as much food as possible for my husband and myself on a 4,500 sq ft yard that is covered mainly by house, garage, driveway, and sidewalks.
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