October 3, 2011

VEG: TY Gets Ready for a Fall Garden

written by Yvonne

I know, I know.  It's been a month since we've posted any happenings at TYs VeggiePatch. The reasons for this are as follows:
  1. One weekend we went to Asheville for a Yoga workshop and a little time away.
  2. One weekend we did dog stuff (hike, etc).
  3. We are each the head of a study group (Cartooning Club and Sutra Study Group) and we've had to spend time write lesson plans and studying for those meetings.
  4. Tom had bee stuff to attend to.
  5. I participated in an outdoor craft show.
  6. And lastly, there really hasn't been much to report.
It's the end of September and our tomatoes are just NOW getting ripe. Let me tell ya, we've been enjoying the heck out of them regardless of what month it is. We created a meal called Garden Pasta.  We take basil, tomatoes, peppers and garlic (all grown from the garden), cut them up, toss them with some fresh pasta and olive oil and that's dinner.

This will likely be the last batch of peppers for the season. There are still some on the vine but they're pretty small. We'll hang on to the plants as long as they produce fruit and until the cold gets 'em.

Now that the weather is cooling down, Tom has been working on his grill master skills. A few weekends ago he grilled a 15-lb turkey on the Weber charcoal grill (show below)! It was impressive. Tonight he's grilling two whole chickens and all the peppers.

He's gonna get them all blackend up (the peppers, not the chickens). We'll cover them with foil and wait for them to cool, then peel the blackend skin off and we'll have roasted peppers.This is the black skin we're looking for in a roasted pepper.

Last weekend we started a new batch of seeds. Here we have spinach and one variety of arugula...

and here we have another variety of arugula, cabbage and swiss chard. Some of each type of seed sprouted within four days of being planted!

We ordered three varieties of garlic to plant from The Garlic Store. We'll brake the bulbs apart, stick them in the ground, and forget about them until next July.  The garlic we harvest this summer has been fantastic.  It's now a staple for the garden and we'll never have to buy garlic from the store again!  (Mind you, there's nothing wrong with garlic bought from the store, it's just super cool that we can grow our own.)

Here are two varieties of lettuce we started in newspaper pots and they are doing great. It will only be a week or two before I can come to the backyard to clip off some leaves for a salad.  Can't wait!

We weren't sure if the collards would take hold, but they did.

Many weeks ago I'd trimmed back the basil and discovered that our turnips actually had started growing. After they were exposed to the sun, they grew like crazy.  In fact they grew so fast, we didn't get a chance to thin them out.

As you can see, two have grown very close together but that's OK. They came up so quick I think we may have time to get more in the ground before the super cold weather hits - they don't do well when it's too cold.

Also growing under the shade of the basil was cilantro (left). It likely won't last through the cold months, but since we're going to use cover clothes and keep as much going as possible through winter, we'll see if it hangs on. One of my students gave me a cutting of oregano from her back yard.  I planted it in the bed several weeks ago (right) and it's taken hold as well.  Thanks Pam!

The broccoli is certainly taking over... but still no signs of flowers or anything that can be eaten.

We've completely ignored the sweet potatoes and they have really overtaken.  Hopefully that means something good is going on underground.

The berry bushes are growing like crazy up against the side fence. We haven't had any berries except for one or two in the spring just after they'd been planted. Hmmm... this makes me wonder if someone's been enjoying the berries before we could get to them.

It's obvious we can grow cabbage. We've never grown cabbage so this was supper exciting for us.

I'd been instructed by Tom to go to the butcher and buy bratwursts as well as some good, hearty buns because we were harvesting this cabbage to make a vinegar-based cole slaw to top the brats.  I did as I was instructed; bought brats and buns and made the only kind of cole slaw Tom has ever liked, using our first, very own, home grown cabbage. Tom was one happy camper. (I had my coleslaw on the side with a veggie burger.)

Guess this is why they call it a "head" of cabbage - it's as big as your head!