We had another frost this past week, so it was time to admit that the summer garden is done. I spent the entire weekend pulling all my summer plants (other than my pumpkin vines) and harvesting anything left on the plants, including unripe chili peppers and tomatoes, which can still be eaten. I also made a trip to the fairgrounds to pick up my canned goods and ribbons and got a nice surprise when I got there.
Before I get to the garden pictures, let me share the surprise I got when I arrived at the fairgrounds this week. Remember I told you I didn’t see my pickled garlic in the award cabinet at the fair? Only winners are displayed during the fair, so I figured it didn’t win. Well, it seems someone forgot to put my jar in the award cabinet because it was returned to me with my recipe card still attached – along with a blue ribbon! Yes, I won first place for my pickled garlic. I updated my Canning Competition Results article, but I wanted to share my news with you here, as well. Here are all my canning ribbons this year.
IN THE GARDEN:
I spent a few hours this weekend pulling my summer crop plants. There were a couple that were so large, I had to share them with you.
This is ONE Dixie speckled butterpea plant (a type of lima bean). It’s huge!
Just as the cold weather started arriving, my rocoto pepper plants decided the weather was nice enough to finally fruit. I think they prefer their native Andes Mountains to our subtropical summers. I harvested the unripe fruit (hoping they still have some heat to them), and pulled the plants. Actually, they’re mini trees. This is one rocoto pepper plant.
My lettuce is looking pretty. I think it’s time to start harvesting.
This is my favorite lettuce.
Tom Thumb is perfect for making a single salad.
This is my first time growing this lettuce. Isn’t it beautiful? I can’t wait to taste it.
While pulling up my sweet pepper plants yesterday, I found this lettuce growing along the outside of the raised bed. How in the world it got there, I have no idea. The lettuce bed is several beds away. The only thing I can think of is that I might have had a lettuce seed stuck to my clothing when I planted the lettuce, and it fell off when I walked over to the pepper bed one day. Well, more lettuce for me!
I left my pumpkin vines in the ground, hoping all my pumpkins will be able to ripen. It amazes me that with all the frost bitten leaves, the plant continues to put out flowers.
I was noticing that my arugula leaves are showing signs of magnesium deficiency. It’s been a while since I applied epsom salt to the garden, so I guess it’s time.
My bargain shelf/clearance pansies are doing well. I love the deep purple.
I now have a large bin full of almost completed compost. Look at this beautiful dirt, just waiting for spring.
IN THE KITCHEN:
Earlier in the week, I had a full dehydrator of lemon drop peppers. These Peruvian chilis, when ripe, have a slight lemon aftertaste. When dried and crushed, they make a great spice for cooking.
I also processed seven of my ripe pumpkins into pumpkin puree. Here are nine cups of puree for the freezer.
And I didn’t throw out the pumpkin seeds. I roasted all of them, and they were delicious! (Click here for the recipe.)
I was busy in the kitchen last week, but not as busy as I’m about to be. Click here to see my garden bounty from this past week and you’ll understand why!
What’s happening in your garden and in your kitchen?