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Getting Things In Before the Frost

October 17th, 2017

It was supposed to get down to 30 last night. That means that I spent yesterday afternoon harvesting the remaining pumpkins, covering semi-tender items with frost blankets, harvesting the remaining peppers and tomatoes, and harvesting some of my lemongrass. One of the plants was dug up to be overwintered in the basement, the rest will mostly likely end up in the freezer or in jars of red curry.

I love lemongrass and I love curry, which is why I grew lemongrass. The only problem is that I need to get down to Portland to get a few ingredients for my curry paste, they aren’t readily available here in the midcoast region. I’m really looking forward to having homemade red curry paste, both for my pantry and for gifting. Thai curry is one of my favorite meals, it goes so well with all manner of vegetables, especially those from the freezer. Here’s hoping I can get to the city this week to get all the supplies I need.

What are you harvesting this week and what are you planning on doing with it?

Harvesting a LOAD of Butternuts

October 11th, 2017

I planted four butternut squash vines this summer, two of them ended up being a buttercup and not butternut variety. They were planted in an area that I mulched with chicken litter from the coop this spring. The results were vigorous vines that grew here, there, and EVERYWHERE!!! I noticed the vines were dying back, so I decided to pick up the squash to start curing them.


I was blown away by how many squash these two vines produced. There will be more than enough squash for us and all of our friends (and their friends too). Needless to day, heavy feeding squash really appreciate and make use of fresh poultry litter.

Now that they’re harvested, I need to get them curing. Then move on to harvesting pumpkins and bringing in other tender things. We haven’t had our first frost yet, but it will happen soon.

What plant produced more than you expected this summer?

Drying Herbs

September 21st, 2017

I’ve been cutting and drying herbs, mostly by hanging them on the back porch. After walking through the hot front porch many times a day, it dawned on me that this spot would be perfect for drying herbs. On sunny days, it hovers around 100 degrees, which is perfect for drying herbs.

I didn’t have an easy to hang herbs, so I put in a few nails, string a string between them, and starting clipping bouquets of herbs from it.

At the moment I have loads of catnip (more on what that will be used for later), oregano, and sage. These herbs will keep our winter meals savory and our cats happy all winter.

What herbs do you grow and dry during the summer?

Bringing in the Sheaves…Or Other Veg

September 18th, 2017

We’ve been having beautiful weather here in Maine, in the low 80’s during the day and in the 50’s at night. I was planning on pulling all tomatoes and peppers last week, but with the beautiful weather, I decided to leave them. I did pick all the ripe fruit, but decided to leave the unripe fruits on the vine/plants to ripen up.


My pumpkins and other squash are starting to ripen as well. I have been a bit worried about my ‘Musque de Provence’ pumpkins are a long season variety and they are just starting to blush with color. I’ve had my fingers crossed that the weather would stay warm so they would fully ripen. Everything else is coming along well, fall broccoli and lettuces are sizing up. The third planting of fennel will be ready in month or so.

These last months in the garden are always full of activity, which need to be balanced with work preserving all the bounty.

How’s the harvest coming in your garden?

Drowning in Poblano Peppers

September 14th, 2017

I always love growing poblano peppers, they are one of my favorites to use in chili, salsa, and other Mexican inspired dishes. I like to have a gallon or two of cut up poblanos in the freezer ready to use all winter long. This year I planted four ‘Baron’ plants, expecting a semi-decent harvest (seed was purchased from Johnny’s Seeds). Little did I know that these peppers would do better than any other pepper in the garden and I’d be drowning in them.

We’ve been harvesting them and roasting them on the grill, which is working beautifully. At least half of them will be preserved this way. After grilling, they are peeled, seeded, cut in half, then frozen.

The rest will be processed in the usually fashion, just like green peppers. I’ll seed then, slice them, and freeze them on a cookie sheet then transfer them to bags. This way I can scoop out what I need each time, not premeasuring needed.


Since we also have quite a stockpile of ground venison in the freezer from last year, it looks like venison chili will be on the menu quite often this coming winter.

What vegetables seem extra productive in your garden this year?

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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