We got our first snow of the season today. The kids had a snow day, the earliest I can remember. I did not make it to the community garden today, instead here is a picture of our back porch with some pots in the front (the sad looking plant is/was my parsley).
I am still incorporating vegetables from my garden into our dinners. Here are a few from last week. I made this delicious spaghetti with brown butter and butternut squash, for which I used squash and garlic from my garden plus sage and parsley from my back porch. I adapted the recipe and roasted the squash to bring out its sweetness.
We also had our DIY salad bar, where the last cucumber of the season found its end. Other ingredients were tomatoes, roasted carrots, hard-boiled eggs, leftover chicken, avocado, cheeses and lettuce, all topped with a creamy white balsamic vinaigrette. The garlic ciabatta was made with garlic from my garden.
I made a veggie pizza where I used up roasted broccoli, carrots and onions from another meal. These veggies were nestled on a bed of sauteed garlicky Swiss chard (the last of the season) and topped with cheeses. Chard and garlic came from my garden. I always make the pizza dough according to this recipe.
I also made quesadillas that were filled with sauteed peppers from the garden (plus onions and fresh tomatoes), another batch of butternut squash soup, and rice & beans with garlic from the garden and the last home-grown bell peppers.
The season of home-grown meals is coming to an end. I now only have butternut squash, shallots and garlic in my pantry and leeks in my garden as well as herbs.
Yesterday, I dug up the two dahlias. I had planted four originally, but two of them never grew despite the tubers have nice eyes. We had one hard frost a couple of days ago, so I hope they will be alright. I will store them in semi-moist peat moss in the basement.
The plot is ready for winter. Only the Swiss chard is still growing (much of it surprisingly undamaged by the frost), as are leeks, onions and winter greens. I will overwinter the onions and some of the leeks. The garlic is covered with a nice big layer of field hay and should be good until spring.
I spent three hours in the community garden today harvesting the last five squash (a total of 12 lbs. 2 oz., bringing the squash total to 34 lbs. 1 oz.!!!), (green) tomatoes, peppers and cucumber (!), and weeding, pulling lemon balm and mint, and spreading hay. I also planted a few tulips and more garlic. I think this might be the earliest I have ever gotten my plot ready for winter. The only thing still growing is Swiss chard, leeks and onions (I will likely overwinter both of those), and some fall greens.
I also cleaned our back porch and harvested the last jalapenos.
I went to Agricultural Hall yesterday afternoon and had a nice little chat with Bill about garlic, bees and apple cider. I got half a bale of field hay to spread on my garlic. It has been very rainy in the past few days and it is supposed to be a wet week. I hope the garlic I planted three days ago will be okay with all the water.
I still have quite a few things going on in my plot: squash, chard, leeks, onions, fall greens (mostly arugula and mustard greens), some last tomatoes, herbs and still some dahlias.
Yesterday, I harvested four more squash. They now cure in our back hallway. The night before – a very rainy and windy Sunday that my poor 17-year-old daughter spent outdoors at the last rowing regatta of the season on the Merrimack river – I had roasted three of the five previously harvested squash and turned half of the roasted pulp into a very tasty butternut squash soup with fried sage and cheese, adapted from this recipe. The soup was the perfect ending to a wet and raw day. I froze the other half of the pulp for future use.
All in all, I have harvested nine butternut squash so far. They weighed in at a total of 21 pounds and 15 ounces. I gave two of them to my neighbor and five are still on the vine – a total of 14.
Today I planted my garlic (2 rows hardneck – saved from my harvest in July – and 3 rows softneck – Inchelium Red from Johnny’s) in the community garden and flower bulbs in our front yard. I bought the bulbs a few weeks ago from K. van Bourgondien: two types of tulips (Blushing Apeldoorn and Ronaldo), grape hyacinths and Anemone blanda. Can’t wait for them to bloom in spring!
We had our fall work day in the community garden this past Saturday. We mostly weeded, cleaned and got the garden ready for winter. There was a big patch of Jerusalem artichokes in the flower bed we adopted and we needed to take them out. Some of them came home with me and made it into this small bouquet.