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.


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