Sunday, January 6, 2008

November 11th, 2007

High everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!

I keep thinking as I write these end of year emails that each one will be the last. Maybe this one is finally it.

As I write this in our upstairs bedroom, a tremendous aroma is filling the house. Mickey has brined and is now roasting a turkey. Last night she baked pumpkins then pumpkin pies. This morning she's using potatoes, beets, turnips, and frozen green beans from our garden. She's now baking squash purchased from the farmer's market a couple months ago. And, we still have lettuce in the garden, which I did not expect.

The cool weather crops are doing well even though I've stopped caring for them. Again, I am reminded that fall gardening is far underrated. If we still have energy at the end of the 2008 season, maybe we will be more deliberate about it.

Stan planted garlic last weekend and harvested gladiolus and cannas bulbs. The previous weekend I dug cannas bulbs, too, but there are still many out there. If you want some next spring let me know.

Are there any gardening tasks to do this time of year? Yes. We could use leaves, lots of them. They are great to incorporate into the soil and to use as a mulch. I don't have a way to transport them to our property.

Special Thanksgiving wishes to Natalie and Claire. I hope you are having a fulfilling season in Beijing and Philadelphia.

October 27th, 2007

The weather predictions are that we will get heavy frosts over the next several days. The peppers can't tolerate freezing, so I harvested all of them. I gathered 1 grocery bag of bells, 2 of pablanos, 1 of rellenos, 1 of pimientos, 1/2 of sweet bananas, 1/3 of hot bananas and a few hot cherry pimientos.

Last night we asked the proprietor of a Mexican grocery store if he could use some. He can store them for >1 month, so he said, OK. His trick is that he uses a large refrigerator set at just above freezing.

So, Mickey put all we can possibly use in our refrigerator's crisper. We don't want any more.

Let me know SOON if you want any. Or stop by this weekend. I will take the excess to Mr. GroceryStoreOwner on Monday.

October 20th, 2007

Surprise, Surprise. Who would have thought we'd have an abundance of produce in late October.

Last week we had a HEAVY frost on our cars. I thought it destroyed the peppers and tomatoes, for sure.

I was wrong. Now we have more peppers than ever, and they are in excellent condition. Many are the coveted bells. Most are turning red, getting milder and sweeter.

The Roma tomatoes are mushy and are worthless. But all the other types still have fruit and are perfectly fine.

We have some lettuce, also very nice, and spinach is just now reaching picking size.

We ate some fennel yesterday; Mickey sautéed it in olive oil then added it to dishes. Nice. We have many mature bulbs. They store for only a week or two, so take some if you like.

Also, we've got beets in perfect condition and nice turnips, which are great for fall soups and mixing with mashed potatoes.

Come by before the frost turns much of this bounty to composting fodder.