Weekend Harvest and Preserving RoundUp

Let's drop in on our weekend harvest and have a peek at the kitchen projects going on as well. The kitchen is one busy room these days, and there is always either a bubbling pot of water on the stove, ready for canning, or the same pot cooling off in order to be reused in the garden.

Every other night we have green beans with dinner, because every other day I harvest several pounds of these beauties.

I just learned this year that if you don't harvest the beans, the plant will stop producing new fruit. Interesting, yes?

We harvest and eat cherry tomatoes every day - Tom's gotten in to the habit of going out each morning before he leaves and picking a bunch. Then he slices them, adds a few leaves of basil and some fresh mozzarella and a little olive oil, and takes it to share with everyone at work. What could make business meetings better than a little Caprese salad to nibble on? Speaking of nibble, that's how I usually get my daily dose of cherry tomatoes - I just eat them as I work around them.

The large slicing and paste tomatoes get picked once a week on Saturday mornings, and I usually get around 10 pounds. This weekend I turned them, once again, into canned tomato paste. We use paste for our homemade spaghetti sauce throughout the year, as well as a tablespoon here or there in other braises or sauces. Kate used to eat it out straight out of the can, but she doesn't do that anymore, darn it. This stuff would be terrific straight out of the jar.

I pick the hot and sweet peppers once a week, unless I need them sooner for a recipe. This weekend, the sweet peppers were sautéed with shallots, garlic, and homemade chicken broth, then spooned over a grilled steak with sprinkles of gorgonzola on top. The hot peppers are still sitting on the counter. I've roasted and frozen dozens, and Tom has made enough hot sauce to keep everyone in our extended family happy for at least a year. I was debating what to do with them, when Adam came in to the kitchen. He tasted the pickles Tom made today, drank a little of my homemade apple juice ("tastes like liquid pie"), then saw the peppers. "Are those hot peppers, Mom?" "Yep." "Yesssssss. (fist pump)" Looks like he'll take care of those for me. This was after he toured the gardens and said, "Guess I'd better have a salad tomorrow, the lettuce is close to bolting." I love this kid.

Speaking of pickles, Tom picked a bunch of cucumbers and turned them into more pickles today. 

And I picked a huge amount of basil Saturday and made another six jars of pesto. We have enough pesto now to last us to next summer, I think.

I just checked the corn, and there are enough ears ready to have tomorrow night for dinner. The Delicata squash is nearly ready, just waiting for 'wiltage' on the stem, which is what I'm waiting for on the watermelons as well. The potato vines are starting to go brown, just need to let them die off further, and then I'll dig those up. As mentioned earlier, the romaine is starting to bolt, pumpkins are starting to take off, a second batch of collards is nearly ready for eating, and the butternut squash is coming along.

The flower garden is bursting with blooms. Here are some interesting ones I looked at today.

Columbine blooming in the woodland shade garden

Crocosmia, drought stressed but blooming anyway

Scarlet Flax in the North Pollinator garden

Native Gumplant in the woodland shade garden, there will be lots of this soon

a honeybee visiting a Scabiosa

Nicotiana, shy during the day, glorious at dawn and dusk



another Salvia
Opened the lid on the hive today, all looked well - will open it further tomorrow. Don't like to get in there and bug them so much, but need to stay on top of the wax moths.