Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hard frost

We awoke this morning to the first really hard frost of the fall. The frost really highlighted the lovely pattern of the carrot leaves. I expect we'll haul these out next week sometime along with the remainder of the beets.

We braved the terrible construction yesterday and hit the downtown farmer's market this week to pick up a big bag of potatoes and a bunch of cabbage. I've got it cooking away in the fermenting crock. I still have some of the earlier batch of sauerkraut in the fridge but thought I'd put more away.

I went for a brisk ride this morning under amazing blue skies. The birds have to yet stripped the mountain ash we have out back.

I suspect I'll also be roasting some tomatoes today and maybe Jess will turn the last of the zucchini into chocolate cake.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cider and carrots

The past week I've been busy doing end-of-the-season work, like washing windows, putting away tools and turning under beds. The various violas keep flowering hard despite the overnight frosts.

I pressed some apple juice on Wednesday. Most of this we've frozen for the winter. I decided against trying to ferment it. I still have lots of cider from last year and I'm just a bit too busy at work right now. We have also been out spotting wild asparagus for collection next spring.

Yesterday I pulled all of the carrots out of the front garden. They likely could have stayed another two weeks but I have a lot of carrots in the back to deal with as well. I ended up with about 10 gallons (two pails) worth that I'm soaking right now.

Most we'll store fresh but the smaller ones I will blanch and freeze this afternoon. We've had a few more huge yellowstone carrots plus a large number of nantes. I think we'll roast carrots and beets for dinner. If I get some time this week, I'm going to move some of the raised beds and perennials around to make room for more veggies next year. And I'm still waiting for the sunchokes to die down so I can harvest.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A new bed, tomatoes and beans

The last of the fall colours are out and the front hedge is amazing to behold! I spent a fair bit of time beholding while a Shaw service guy did amazing work restoring my internet!

This past weekend I finally got around to dealing with a bed at the front of the house. A wasp's nest by the front pillar had held up work. They are still there but there is only one or two left so I started pulling down the pea and bean trellis and then removing the plants that were up against the house (mostly raspberry).

After an hour of digging and transplanting I have a new bed (about 50 square feet) cleared for next year. Not sure what I will plant here. The stunt gardener in me says "corn!". The practical gardener wonders about potatoes and tomatoes.

We had our first hard front this week but just before hand, the tomatoes kicked into high gear, putting out a huge number of new blossoms.

The tomatoes I pulled in two weeks ago are ripening nicely and I made another batch of sauce.

Still trying to decide if coarse chopping is easier than skinning. Faster but requires more muscle on the mill which makes me wonder if I'm not going to break the handle.

I also shelled the beans and peas and set them out to dry. These are mostly a small Mexican red bean (like a kidney, but smaller) that I grow every couple of years to keep the seed stock fresh.

I also pulled out a huge carrot. This one was 11 inches long and 8 and a half inches in circumference.

It is like a huge cob of corn. Can't wait to see what some of the other carrots look like!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pickled radishes

With autumn closing in, things are calmer in the yard. Last week I pulled the second crop of radishes and decided to pickle them in the fridge. There are still a few radishes outside but I'm not sure it will get warm enough for them to mature.

This took about 15 minutes: some cutting, a bit of prep and into the jar with vinegar. I used some more of the chive-infused vinegar I made last year, which has a pink hue to it.

After about two hours, its colour is supplemented by colour drawn from the radish skin and the whole thing has a nice reddish colour. These should be ready in a week or two.

We're also pulling carrots and beets. And there are a few potatoes to dig and a last few tomatoes to bring in.

This weekend we'll likely make some more tomato sauce as the green tomatoes on the window sill are ripening nicely.