Sunday Morning Communing in the Garden

In the still cool morning, fog lingering in the hollows, I headed to the garden with a basket. I had been watching a couple of tomatoes for a few days and could see the beans needed harvesting again. The cucumbers are still blooming though the harvest of them has slowed. The dill that I planted quite a while ago did not show in the garden. While weeding, I found two young dill plants. If they mature enough, I will dry it for later use. The two large baskets of basil gathered early in the week are drying nicely. The corn was a complete bust and there are no pumpkins this year. The tomatillos are full of blooms, the Thai peppers are beginning to turn red. There are three Ground Cherry plants, there may be some fruit from them before frost.

I realized that I had duplicates of some herbs and spices because the rack I built almost two decades ago, just isn’t large enough for all of them.

The overflow was in a deep disorganized drawer, so yesterday, the drawers were cleaned out, wiped down and reorganized to use a shallower drawer with the bottles labelled. A friend posted on Instagram, Everything but a bagel seasoning she had purchased and upon my comment on it, she bought me a bottle. The ingredients were straight forward and easy to obtain, so I made up a batch to refill the shaker bottle and a small jar. I also gave the friend a bag of it and she asked for the recipe.

The garden provided a basket of tomatoes, a cucumber, a dozen jalapenos, enough basil for pesto, and lots of beans. So many that they overflowed the basket so I used my head, err hat to provide more space to gather produce.

One of the pepper plants was adorned with a colorful ladybug, and the basil with a little emerald green beetle about the same size.

Two quarter pints made without cheese to freeze, two with cheese so I could share with daughter along with a bag of beans. As her kids weren’t home at the time we went by, I got to see granddaughter’s garden that I helped plan last spring. I took enough bean seed for them to do a fall planting, we should still have enough days for them to get a harvest. Daughter showed me the plan they have to double it’s size this fall. I love that grand daughter, her Mom, and brother are having success and enjoying growing and preserving their own food.

The bag of beans I kept will be blanched for the freezer and some for dinner tonight. The jalapenos were quick brined and added to the other 3 quarts that had already been done; the fresh basil washed and made into pesto with some of garlic I grew, some pine nuts that I toasted in a skillet; the tomatoes will become pizza sauce soon. As the Thai peppers continue to ripen red, they will be strung to dry for cooking and for crushed red peppers.

The reuseable canning lids are not a quick ship, but hopefully will arrive before I need them. I did find 8 regular mouth lids that are new, so enough to can a batch of pizza sauce. Tomatillos will be gathered and frozen until there are enough to make more salsa, simmer sauce, or tomatillo jalapeno jam. And I am still watching the grapes, hoping for enough to make a batch of grape jelly. I never picked enough wild berries to make jam. The hay guys don’t get as close to the patches as I do when I am bush hogging, so getting to the patches required going through waist high weeds and I didn’t want to deal with the ticks.

The shelves and freezer are filling, the fall peas are sprouted and will soon need trellises, still no carrots up, the spinach is sprouting and will be transplanted when they are larger. The garden has been successful and easier to care for this year, but I am still dealing with weeds in the paths, probably because of the old hay as mulch, but fairly easy to pull. The citric acid weed killer is worthless and smells bad, so I just spend some time each time I go out pulling them and adding them to the compost pile.

The flowers are faded, the season of daylilies, iris, and coreopsis over. There are still zinneas and calendula. The deck pots were not good flower choices this year and have never looked good. The trees are not changing colors yet, except for Tree of Heaven, the invasive weed tree, but the leaves are getting dull and faded. I don’t know if all the rain will make for a colorful Autumn or not.

I would love to hear your comments on this post.

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