In the Garden, Week 12

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This week I find myself in the happy position of figuring out what to do with an abundance of raspberries. When temps rose into the 90s on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I knew it had to be ice cream. Yum! This recipe is fast, easy, and delicious. Best of all, it includes no eggs, so no cooking is involved.

Tomatoes are continuing to ripen as well, and I returned home with an armload of them a couple of times this week. I added chopped tomatoes to a swiss chard and bacon quiche and a Greek salad for Monday’s dinner, enjoyed them in a caprese salad with some basil from the backyard on Tuesday, and made the first batch of gazpacho on Saturday. All were so good! I’m getting to the point, though, where the tomatoes are beginning to pile up. I can freeze them, of course, but I think it’s definitely time to make some salsa. And, with temps in the 60s this week (Only in Minnesota do we go from unbearable heat and humidity to cloudy and autumnal within a 24-hour period!), I should be able to process the jars without sweltering in the kitchen. Stay tuned.

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Although I’m harvesting beautiful tomatoes with very few blemishes or cracks, my tomato plants don’t look so hot. I continue to remove the dried leaves from the plants, and we’ve been watering regularly, using a watering can, not a hose. I think next year we will have to mulch, but please let me know if you have any other ideas!

Remember my worries about the eggplant and Brussels sprouts? Well it looks as though they are doing just fine. I spotted this lovely eggplant earlier in the week, with many more blooms beginning to fade into fruit. Both Brussels sprouts plants now have tiny sprouts growing up and down the inner stem. Yay! My uncle pickles them, and they are delish, but I doubt I’ll have enough to make it worth the work…I do love roasted sprouts with olive oil and plenty of coarse salt.

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Before the heat set in I managed to make a batch of raspberry jam. I know I’ve raved about this recipe before, but it is so dang easy, I simply can’t resist touting it again. It’s from the Food to Live By Cookbook by Earthbound Farm. I love it and we use so much jam around here that I’m sure I’ll be making it again before raspberry season comes to an end.

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Until next week, I leave you with these asters blooming in my community plot. The bees are loving them! For more ideas on how to attract bees and other pollinators to your garden, check out The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book, available at Mother Earth Gardens, Millbrook Press, and Amazon. And don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook!

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