This is the story of our adventures -- every day and extraordinary; our dreams -- tiny and grand; our gardens -- ornamental and sustaining; this is the story of our journey.  We are a family of four living a mindful, simple life here in Los Angeles County.  We are green, conscious, and forward thinking.  We keep an eye on the past because some of the best things have already been done and bear repeating.  Walk and talk with us, have a glass of wine, taste a peach or a tomato, blow some bubbles and watch them drift up over the canyon ridge.  Enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2008

October Harvest

Today I picked the tomatoes and beans (green and purple) and peppers from the garden. Here is the haul -- not bad for a day in October! (there were actually 4 peppers and about half again of the large tomatoes but I used them for tonight's dinner -- lamb ragout over rosemary polenta)

There are SO many grape/cherry/teardrop tomatoes -- the girls eat them like they are candy but still don't make a dent. I'm thinking of doing a tomato relish with them -- anybody got ideas/recipes? Erin or Molly D?

I have to say, the peppers were the sweet surprise of our garden. I don't really like peppers -- unless they are pickled! I planted these

because the name having "pizza" in it caught my eye -- I do like green peppers on pizza! We have 6 gorgeous plants that make the most wonderful sweet peppers I have ever tasted. Next year I will double down on those! And add a hot pepper for pickling!

The green beans should get the season's producer award. They keep on goin'! We eat them twice a week. I have frozen and pickled them. I have an overflowing colander of them now. Hmm, what should I do with these????

The cucumbers were my disappointment. I planted 4 different kinds, hoping to have them for salads, my Turkish breakfasts, and pickling. I pickled a quart and a half (some of which came from the CSA). I think I have picked 10 lousy cucumbers. There are still some on the vine in the lower beds. And the box on the deck is still growing and blooming (with nary a fruit to be seen).

Speaking of nary a fruit, the melon patch. I have bemoaned the lack of fruitation -- despite the flowers and the pollinators! Well, guess what! There are 4 gorgeous musk melons growing and ripening! I found them today. The volunteers are still going to take the prize though -- I've picked at least 6 beautiful true cantaloupes and another 6 of some gourd/cucumber looking but clearly melon fragrant/tasting "things".

The carrots were largely failures -- a few tiny little round balls suitable for little girl snacks while they are helping. The beets made gorgeous tasty tops and a few bulbs. I'm the only one who eats the bulbs anyway! I planting some golden ones for Winter harvest anyway -- I'll keep trying with the girls.

Broccoli. Broccoli. I started you from seed in APRIL! FINALLY I see a couple tiny heads forming. SIX months. I'll try you again for Spring harvest.

The lettuce, spinach, arugula, mesclun all have been successes. Though, despite being in the lower, shaded, cooler beds, lately they have been a little bitter. Replanting for Winter harvest.

I had planned to take pictures of the Autumn garden but the camera batteries died and I couldn't find the recharger. I want to tell you all about the giant pumpkin but that tale needs pictures.

I have also to plant now: garlic, shallots, onions, potatoes. I ordered seeds for: peas, lettuce, cilantro, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and some other veggies I can't remember. Oh, and I bought a fruiting, INDOOR eligible, avocado. I'm still so sad about Alex's Avocado. I've tried and tried to start from pits again and failed. I understand that it is unlikely for those starts to fruit anyway. So I shelled out some cash for an already grafted tree. I also tried to order a Meyer lemon but they wouldn't ship that to CA.

Next up, I need to find a rotting tree stump to start some mushroom spores!

Our poor tomatoes had a little water "issue" while we were away last week -- if you could all send them a little healing energy to keep producing at least until we leave on the cruise I'd sure appreciate it! In the meantime, I'll hit the U-pick farm again -- I need to can at least another 100 pounds!


Erin said...

I just came accross this recipe for relish the other day LOL... but alas it is not a tomato relish. Maybe could use the recipe as a guide though?

I'll have to check my blog to see when I started our broccoli, but much to my surprise I found three good sized heads yesterday! WOW! Seems like it is very early to me. I am definately planting more of it tomorrow (if the rain lets up).

Have you seen the romanesco broccoli? So pretty! I bet Peacefull VAlley has some seeds for it (I need to get my cover crop order in!!)

Also planting cauliflower and leeks mmmmmm

Erin said...

WEll I can't sleep so now I'm looking up recipes thanks a lot (lol!)

I found this one that sounds kind of yummy, I bet you could use some of your peppers instead of the canned ones it calls for!

Erin said...


Rachel said...

I want weather that allows me to grow all those wonderful things!! So jealous!!!

Thembi said...

I'm so envious too!! I think I told you that my one little lonely renegade cantaloup was turned into a home for fruit flies. I have no idea what bored the hole....

It kind of scares me about trying to garden next year, last year, I had some good red bell peppers going, but they were always eaten by some mystery creature before they were half-grown!

Tamra said...

Can you send me the LAMB recipe??? EJ wants to make lamb and that sounds delish!