Finishing up the Fall Cleanup

The sky this afternoon was beautiful. It was not too cold, so I decided to finish up my fall cleanup. I pulled the last chard and flower stalks, dug up the dahlia tubers and weeded the remaining patch in the back. All that’s left is to cut back the asparagus in a week or two. The only thing still growing is a few kale plants, two rows of fall greens and the walking onions. The garlic is covered nicely in hay. Looks like my plot is ready for winter.

Planting Garlic

I planted about 60 cloves of garlic this afternoon, half and half softnecks and hardnecks. I noticed that some of the hardneck garlic in my pantry was infested with onion flies, I could see the maggots inside the base of the bulbs. So I took all the heads apart to check and tossed the affected ones. Now I have a big wooden bowl with mostly single cloves and some quarter and half-heads. I hope they will not rot prematurely.

I am not sure where the onion flies came from. Probably from the plot. So I picked the farthest spot away from this year’s garlic to plant next year’s crop. I mulched the garlic with salt marsh hay. This will be the only hay I use over the winter into next season as I am still trying to get rid of the pill bug infestation. I had to do much more weeding this year but it did seem to have worked to reduce the pest.

Plot today. I still need to do more weeding and take care of the mint mess in the back in front of the asparagus. I also need to dig the dahlias soon.

Winter Squash

Because we might see our first frost tonight, I harvested my butternut squash this afternoon. Five squash, a total of 8.5 lb., all from one plant. One squash is still on the vine, it is a dark green, zucchini-like color. Very unusual. Of the five I harvested, three look “normal”, one is much more orange, and the smallest is one much paler than the rest. Let’s see if it makes a difference taste-wise. My Delicata squash unfortunately never bore fruit and the Lakota squash given to me by my neighbor Lisa produced one tiny squash that was eaten by someone.

I also harvested Swiss Chard and my last little porch tomato. Still growing besides the one butternut squash are kale, chard, and hardy salad greens. No leeks this year, I sadly did not plant any. I have to get my garlic in the ground soon.

October Garden

Today’s harvest: carrots, red beets, golden beets and the last glass gem corn (not pictured kale and the last three tomatoes).

I spent a couple of hours in the garden on this gorgeous fall day weeding, harvesting and removing spent plants. I pulled all the basil (planted in June), tomato and corn plants. I did a lot of (long overdue) weeding around the fall greens and in general. I still only got half the plot done. I harvested my last three tomatoes and my last two corns of the season and pulled all the beets and carrots.

Still growing strong: Swiss Chard, kale, basil (planted in August), green beans, fall greens, butternut squash, flowers. And those walking onions of course.

Squash, kale, basil and marigolds in the afternoon October sun.

Thai Hot Sauce

I finally harvested my Thai peppers today. I had one plant in a container on my back porch and it gave me two cups of hot peppers. Most of them were red, some (about a third of them total) still green. I cut off the entire plant and then picked the peppers to make hot sauce. I followed this recipe for Thai hot sauce but I lowered the amount of vinegar because I wanted it thicker. I also do not have a food mill, so it is just hot sauce, seeds and all. It is super spicy and I am looking forward to using it instead of store-bought Sriracha sauce and Chili garlic sauce.

Before picking
After picking
After roasting at 450 for 15 minutes (I also roasted three cloves of home-grown garlic wrapped in foil for 20 minutes)
After blending
Finished product (after boiling down)

Glass Gem Corn

I harvested my first glass gem corn today. I was hesitant as on paper they should be ready for harvest (it has been 120 days since I planted them), but the husks were still not as dry and papery as required. But I was not disappointed. Two of them had yellowish-brown husks and one a maroon/reddish husk. The reddish husk gave the most beautiful jewel-colored corn (see above). I am really happy with this little experiment.