Monthly Archives: October 2015

In the Garden, Weeks 22 & 23

Whew! We made it…here we are at the end of the gardening season! As I was about to leave our garden plot yesterday afternoon, I took one last look around and thought, “see you next year.” I do love my community garden. It’s the one place in our neighborhood where I can actually see the sunset and watch the clouds as they are carried away by the wind. I will miss this place over the next few months.

In the meantime, it was about a week beyond time for me to put the garden to bed, but I finally had at it. Yesterday my youngest and I managed to pull all the withered, frost-struck tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini plants from the garden. I should go back and trim the raspberry canes, but if I don’t get around to that before spring it won’t the end of the world.


I was surprised to see that zucchini, eggplant, and a couple of peppers actually survived the frost. And the carrots of course, which do taste sweeter than the ones we harvested before the cold nights. Theo did a great job pulling the last of Will’s carrot patch, and I made a tasty gingered carrot soup for dinner with our take. Also enjoyed a swiss chard spanikopita with the swiss chard harvest last week…sooo good!


Now we are back to a blank slate and I can begin to think about what to do differently next year. Carrots and beets were a hit, as were the Swiss Chard, banana peppers, and jalapenos. I’m not sure about the tomato plants. We did get a decent harvest in August, but I just don’t think I water consistently enough to produce a beautiful crop of tomatoes. Of course we did finish up the last of the salsa yesterday, and it sure was tasty. Perhaps I’ll change my mind come next spring.


Until then, I do have more beets to make into beet burgers, more raspberries in the freezer to cook into jam, and a few more banana peppers to pickle for the boy’s sandwiches. I still plan to plant garlic, get those daffodil bulbs in the ground, and prep the gardens around the house for winter. Keep yourself busy this winter with projects from the Nitty Gritty Gardening Book!

And I wanted to let you know that I don’t plan to hibernate with the garden this winter…I’m looking forward to turning my attention to crafty pursuits indoors. Stay tuned!


Finally made it over to the Kingfield Farmer’s Market yesterday to buy some pumpkins…I highly recommend a visit if you’ve not been, although now you’ll have to wait until next spring. The market is held every Sunday at Nicollet and 43rd, right across the street from Anodyne Coffee Shop. Check it out!

In the Garden, Weeks 19 & 20

In case you were wondering, the answer is IMG_1293yes, I’m still here. But I’ve been on deadline, frantically tapping away at my keyboard late into the night and through glorious autumn weekend days to finish my latest book on time. I made it, but whew, my schedule over the past few weeks hasn’t been conducive to making it down to the garden. I did manage to go harvest a few things last Sunday when my mom-in-law was in town. My main motivation for going? I needed food for dinner, and at this time of year I’d rather go to the garden to get it than to the grocery store. It was a satisfying trip! I managed pick most of what I needed for a harvest feast.

Here I am, “harvesting” the brussels sprouts from the huge stalk I pulled at the community plot. There’s still one more giant stalk in the ground, and we enjoyed two batches of roasted sprouts from this beauty over the past week. I roasted the first batch on Sunday with carrots and beets, also harvested from the garden. Here’s the recipe for jewel roasted vegetables. Delicious, and so satisfying, since brussels sprouts tend to be one of those vegetables that are a little pricy at the store.


I also brought home an eggplant, some tomatoes, more banana peppers, and celery. I roasted the eggplant with peppers, onions, and tomatoes and added them to pasta, tossed with a little olive oil and balsamic. Yum! I have several more eggplants that should be ready to harvest this weekend, so I’m thinking I’ll make a batch of baba ganoush.

Then, I REALLY need to pry the dandelions from my strawberry bed. Honestly, if it were spring I’d make a huge salad with the greens, but they’d be beyond bitter now. I’m trying to put the comment made by my garden neighbor to the south when we first met last spring out of my mind: “I just HATE weeds!” she said. If I see her at the plot before the first frost saves me, I may just bow my head in shame (although I did notice she has a few weeds to tend to herself!).

Tonight I’m heading over to harvest a bunch of Swiss chard to make Swiss chard spanikopita (I know it’s not really spanikopita if you use chard instead of spinach, but my Greek has never been all that great, so bear with me).

Another item on the agenda for this weekend will be planting the daffodil bulbs from my sis-in-law, in honor of my Grandpa Andruscavage, who passed away a few weeks ago. Here’s hoping the squirrels don’t make them into Thanksgiving dinner! And garlic! Did I mention my plan to plant garlic? That’s on the list as well.

Until next time, check out The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book, pages 32 and 33 to learn how to force your own bulbs! This is a fun project with satisfying results come January or February.