Realization Of The Day:
After pretty much ignoring them for a couple of months (except to toss new stuff in of course), it always feels good to get the compost bins in order--especially when you discover a lot more finished compost than you thought there was. (Click here for a lighthearted look at my first venture into the compost bin, as well as several sources for helpful information about composting.)
I am so totally out of shoveling shape.
Out Of My Inbox:
--Even though parts of my garden are still in full swing, it's time to start thinking about fall clean-up and getting things ready for winter. The folks at High Mowing Organic Seeds in Vermont have already had their first frost, and their latest online newsletter includes two timely articles--End of Season Management: An Ounce of Prevention by Vern Grubinger, Vegetable and Berry Specialist, University of Vermont Extension and Planning a Winter Vegetable Garden by David Kopsell, UNH Cooperative Extension Vegetable Specialist. Click here to visit their Web Only Specials page.
--My favorite Pinetree Garden Seeds in Maine is having a Fall Clean-Up Sale.
--And on a completely non garden- but food-related subject (that I couldn't resist mentioning)--Teo at Belly Dujour sent me the following note:
"As a lover/blogger of food, I thought you'd get a kick out of a video we just posted that catalogues the Minnesota State Fair’s famed food-on-a-stick tradition. We’ve captured all the fair’s foods on a stick—from corn dogs and deep-fried Twinkies to chocolate-covered cheesecake and spaghetti and meatballs. Check it out if you've got the time, it's hysterical."
I have a lot of trouble watching videos with my dial-up connection, but I'm going to have to figure out a way to see this one. And now I think I have a sneaking suspicion why my shepherdgirl friend Katherine at Apifera Farm says the Minnesota State Fair beats the Oregon State Fair ten to one. And speaking of Katherine, I've just found out that Little Buttercup needs a home. So, if you are a city dweller with a yearning for a cow, here's your chance. No manure, no annual vaccinations, no flies.
Green Tomato Glut? I'd Relish The Situation!
I know that some of you are already picking the last green tomatoes in your garden before cooler weather hits. While they will gradually turn that summer red (possibly allowing you to indulge in homegrown tomatoes on Thanksgiving--or even Christmas), they won't have nearly as much flavor than if they'd ripened on the vine in the sun. So if you're looking for something interesting to do with your green tomatoes, you might try whipping up a batch of my Green Tomato Relish. This easy recipe (that I created several years ago for Kitchen Gardener magazine) is unlike any green tomato relish you've ever tasted--it contains no sugar (or raisins or spices) and is really more like a salsa. Click here to check it out. And you don't have to go to the trouble of canning it, as it will keep just fine in the fridge for several weeks.
From Garden To Table:
Last night we had an amazing fresh from the farm Less Fuss, More Flavor dinner:
--Roasted leg of lamb smothered with a thick layer of homegrown garlic and herbs
--The first Straight 'N' Narrow beans from my late planting, steamed until crisp-tender and dressed with only a sprinkling of salt and a touch of butter
--The first red potatoes from my experimental planting (which appears to have been a huge success--and which I will write more about another time), boiled, dashed with salt and pepper and smothered in butter
--Warm homemade rolls and a glass of red wine.
For me, this is what it's all about. The hard work, the struggling, the aching body parts, the questioning of your sanity, the ongoing battles over garden bounty, the general craziness of life on the farm . . . All is forgotten when you sit down to a dinner like the one we so gratefully enjoyed last night.