Friday, October 17, 2014

Fresh Salsa

A great way to use up super ripe, meaty tomatoes is to whip up a fresh salsa. I didn't use a recipe for mine and you don't need on either. 

Simply dice or mash the ripe tomatoes, if they're more juicy than meaty you can put them in a colinder, sprinkle them with sea salt and allow them to drain, removing the excess liquid. If they're meaty enough, as mine were, just put them in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt to release some juices. I then added a diced sweet green pepper, two cloves of diced garlic, chopped cilantro and parsley (a whole bunch since they're both so good for you!) and a healthy pinch of cumin. Add some lime juice and put the whole bowl aside for 15 minutes to an hour before serving or refrigerating.  

You can use all kinds of different seasonings, fruit and vegetables for your salsa. Use shallot or onion instead of garlic, add jalepenos, diffrerent herbs or use tomatillos or ground cherries instead of tomatoes. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Past Due

The end of summer and first of fall are quite busy around here in the garden harvesting, freezing, canning and storing vegetables. Add to that the job of butchering five turkeys, raising forty chickens for meat, building a new greenhouse, building a new chicken shed, constructing concrete walkways, planting garlic, seed saving, planting spring blooming bulbs,  cleaning up the garden/yard, hunting (for my boyfriend) and foraging for mushrooms, cranberries and apples (which we will soon be pressing for cider) and you have a fairly full fall. I'm sure I'm missing several activities and projects there too. Needless to say I haven't had as much time for blogging as I would like, therefore I will now bombard you with months of harvests and projects mainly all in pictures. 

   *Quick note! Curing my sweet potatoes in my car worked like a charm and our sweet potatoes are the tastiest I've ever tried. Definitely a new permanent addition to our garden, I plan on growing about 20 plants this year. *

Unfortunately this is very far from everything we've grown, harvested and done this summer. What you'll see is everything I had time to document. 

Stealing early potatoes in July, my boyfriend's hands holding them, not mine! 

Baby beets August. 

First cuke, August 14th. 

Garlic harvest, August 20th, beautiful bulbs this year. 

Garden August 20th, Corn in front, squash in the middle and pole beans at the end.  

Cucumbers, squash and melon spilling out onto the driveway. 

Entire garden, August 20th. Freshly weeded. 

Blue Hubbard squash, my largest, end of August. 

I pollinate all my squash blossoms by hand, just to make sure. Touch a paintbrush to the pollen on a male flower and oh-so-lightly dab it on the center of the female flowers. 

Peas, beans, pepper and baby carrots first of September. 

I had gorgeous tomatoes this year, unaffected by the blight everyone else seemed to get. I just didn't get too many of them because I put them in awfully late, still we had more than enough and I'm making a fresh salsa for the weekend to use up the very last of them.  I didn't plant any of my heat loving crops until the second week of July, and everything still did great. 

We ate a lot of corn, one of my favorite crops to grow because I never buy conventional corn, I had planted several rows. I harvest way more pole beans than are pictured in this update, I lacto-fermented 6 jars of beans with dill flowers and we only have one left. You can imagine how good they were. 

I can not grow spinach to save my life in the spring months, and effortlessly grow the best spinach in the fall months in the cold frame. 

We ate lots of zukes but not too many I had to make batches of zucchini loaf. 

Fall garden, mid September, still growing strong. 

Yellow Calendula, direct seeded in the garden. 

Orangey Calendula. 

Pie pumpkin mid September. 

Butternut Squash, grew six plants this year so I would have plenty. 

Jerusalem artichokes mid September. 

Fall colors, mid September. 

Rutabagas, Brussel sprouts, beets and onions. 

Blue Hubbard progress.  

Green peppers on the plant mid September. This was when I realized I was going to be overrun with peppers this year. 

Big ol Parsnip patch. 

Fall colors, mid September. 

Squash spilling into the driveway. 

Hard to make out, this is a bunch of dill going to seed in mid September. 

Flower bed with lettuce in any spare space. 

Fall bloomers. 

My Hosta garden. 

Oh yeah, there was also that weekend we split all this wood as well as two other cords not pictured here. 

I think this was my biggest pepper, not certain though. 

Another zuke, obviously. 

Stealing baby leeks. 

Swiss Chard bouquet. 

Pepper Harvest. 

Stealing the biggest onions early to can up green cucumber relish. 

More corn and tomatoes. 

Mini grape bunch off one of our gape vines. 

My table looked something like this for most of the summer just alternating what veggies needed to be harvested. 

Green sweet peppers will continue to ripen to red when picked and brought indoors, hot peppers are better matured on the plant. 

Fall garden end of September, I was sad when I had to take the corn out to plant my garlic. It was really pretty and made a great noise when the wind rustled the stalks. 

I've planted my garlic in the spot our corn was previously planted for several years now, the timing couldn't possibly be any better. 

Our nasturtiums had fizzled out in the heat and are now back and blooming away. 

Pie pumpkins maturing. 

The big blue hubbard again. 

My parsnip patch to be left in the ground over the winter and harvested over the winter and  in the spring for super-sweet parsnips. 

More fall colors and two planted cold frames. 

I find swiss chard grows really well in a thick patch. This is usually how i plant it in some random unused corner or space. 

Sugar snap peas planted in July that we are still harvesting now. 

All our celeriac will remain in the ground over the winter months too, harvesting when we want even from under the snow. 

I filled one cold frame with spinach, bok choy and tatsoi. This picture was snapped several weeks ago. 

My other cold frame was planted with several different varieties of kale, mustard greens, different lettuces, green onions and radishes. 

Calendula, I'm planning on saving a lot of calendula seeds this year. 

Future sight of our new greenhouse, these frames are for concrete that will be poured to form a footing that the outside walls will be built on. We will back fill the footing so it will be partially underground, hopefully helping with heat.  

Jerusalem artichokes about to bloom. 

My cosmos weren't planted in the best spot. They're only blooming profusely now, this was taken about two weeks ago. 

Mums, marigold and a mini blue hubbard. 

The Grand Finale! Our one melon we harvested this year. I only grew one melon plant and saved a lot of the seeds out of this guy!

I will have another update sooner than later, check back as I'm about to harvest all our squash!