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Thursday, September 23, 2021

My Week, Autumn Begins


We had an extremely wet weekend, prompting me to get some harvesting in. I finished harvesting the tomatoes and pulled out all of the basil. The basil had been in small planters on the deck, which means I could repurpose those planters for a fast growing vegetable in my fall deck garden. I chose radishes for those 2 planters. I planted the seeds thickly, not for the root ends, but for use as greens, both in salads and cooked. I chopped and froze most of the basil, saving some for bruschetta later in the week, and I made a basil stock with the stems to use as a base for basil-tomato soup.

The furnace came on and I just let it. In previous years, I've shut the furnace off until the first of October. Because we've saved so much money in other areas this year (and we still have an earned income), I'm "splurging" on early season extra heat. My husband, who is a very thin man, really appreciated the additional heat.

I cooked a winter squash from our garden for dinner one night. I saved the seeds that I scooped out, setting aside about 40 for planting freezing the remaining seeds for roasting when I have more pumpkin or squash seeds from other meals. Cool weather makes one long for foods like winter squash. After a heavy rain that night, the next morning I pulled up all of the green bean plants and tied them in a bundle to hang upside down for the seeds pods to finish maturing for next year's green bean seeds.


On the last afternoon of summer I decide to tackle the pots of tulip bulbs. Earlier in summer, the squirrels made a mess of my tulip pots, eating many of the bulbs in the process. When I noticed this, I moved the pots of remaining bulbs and soil to a place those cute but pesky critters couldn't get to. Finally, on Tuesday I had the time to replant the remaining bulbs. I just know that if I just set the replanted bulbs back out on the deck, the squirrels would come along in short order for another snack. This time, I covered the 2 pots with red net onion bags which I tied to the pots near their bases with string saved from a large sack of dried beans. I'm waiting to see if the furry bulb fiends will attempt to get into those pots. So far, so good. Do you save things like net produce bags and used string, too?

Mid-week I dug the potatoes. This year's harvest was not as plentiful as I'd hoped -- about 25 pounds. I sorted them and set aside about 5 pounds for seed potatoes for next year. (I'm doubling my potato patch next year, so will need double what I've been setting aside.) That leaves us with about 20 pounds of potatoes, which should last us through November, maybe into December. In addition, I'll be buying a couple of 10-lb bags of russets when I find them at a good price.

I also harvested the last bucket of plums and almost all of the tomatoes. I dried most of the plums this months and now have 4 full quart-size bags of prunes for winter. The tomatoes are mostly still green, and I have them laid out on a large towel to slowly ripen. The ever-bearing raspberries are just now ripening their small fall crop. These are such a delicious treat at this time of year. We've set up a bed to which we'll move some of the rogue ever-bearing raspberries, doubling our fall raspberry harvest in a couple of years.

Special lunch this week

Because we just don't go out to eat any more, I wanted to make a special lunch for my household -- sliced cheddar cheese, crackers, dried cranberries, roasted almonds, two types of our own apples, green fig pickles, and squares of dark chocolate. I also found a bottle of sparkling water in the pantry to go with our repast. I used a large wooden tray on which I placed two large grape leaves to go under the cheese slices and crackers. I thought it looked pretty in a very fall-like way, and all was delicious. What are some of the little ways that you celebrate autumn?

Why do I like doing this and why take the time to make it look nice? Making the effort to do this nicely feeds our sense of luxury without spending any more than our usual lunch budget. As a bonus, we tend to gather and sit a while when I make an effort, as opposed to everyone helping themselves to a pot of soup on the stove and then scattering to their corners of the house.

extra posts

Two extra posts for your weekend reading. 


I hope you all had a wonderful week. What were the highlights of your week? Any savings this week?

Enjoy your weekend!

4 comments:

  1. You certainly have been busy with your fall harvest. I am hoping to do some similar harvesting and clean up here today. The basil is definitely done, but I froze a fair amount of pesto and basil as well as dried some. We have maybe one more zucchini and the tomatoes will stay a little longer. However, carrots, beets, brussel sprouts, and a small cabbage will be harvested. I tried growing potatoes in bags this year with no success. I found lots of grubs and no potatoes. Pretty gross, actually. In the meantime, the turnips are doing well, but not one radish came up. I took a chance with old seed that didn't pay out this time.

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    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      oh yuck, on the grubs in your potato grow bags! I'm so sorry the bags didn't work out for you. I did try a large round planter for potatoes a couple of years in a row. I don't recall any insect issues, and it was super easy to harvest, just dump out. But I thought the harvest was smaller than growing in the ground. So I went back to using a bed for potatoes. It's extra work in harvesting, though.

      Your harvesting sounds very prolific! All of your froZen pesto and frozen and dried basil will add such fresh flavor when winter rolls around.

      I still have carrots, beets and Brussel sprouts growing. I'm letting those stay as long as possible, for maximum growth, as things grow so slowly in my garden (too shady). That's too bad about the radish seeds. I had that experience with lettuce this past year and old seed. So frustrating, but it happens. At least you took the chance. Nothing lost.

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  2. It sounds like your garden did very well this year. They are so much work! The green tomatoes I picked are starting to ripen. I should have picked them one day sooner than I did because some of them apparently froze, and are rotting. This week I got the last of my zucchini frozen in meal size bags. My Dh doesn’t like zucchini very well, but I love it.

    I was surprised to see that Safeway has all the holiday baking supplies on sale already this week. Everything is limit 2 per day though, so not very convenient for stocking up. I went and got my stuff at one store and then went to the other store and used my son’s account and got stuff for my dil. She does a lot of baking and told me on the phone a couple weeks ago to tell her when stuff was on sale so she could stock up. My son was in the background saying no. He hates clutter lol. I took the stuff over there and told him it’s part of dil’s birthday present so he can’t call it clutter lol. They have a pantry so what does it matter if they have a couple each of flour, sugars, and chocolate chips lol.
    Tomorrow my daughters and I are heading to Helena to do our Costco and winco shopping trip. There’s another store in the area that has acorn squash on sale for 28 cents a lb so we will stop there too. It’s limit 3 unfortunately so I’m hoping winco has a similar price. I love acorn squash but won’t pay $1.28 a lb at Walmart, or $1.69 at Safeway.

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    1. Hi Diane,
      Oh, that's such a shame about some of your green tomatoes! Every year, our issue is blight with the tomatoes. I can think I've gotten them all in time, bring them in and they begin to get black patches within a week. So disappointing. So I've taken to just harvesting them all earlier than I used to. good job on freezing the zucchini to use later!!

      I agree, gardens are a lot of work! I look at it as exercise with benefits. As I was picking plums this week, I had to really stretch to get some of them. I thought to myself that the stretching was probably good for my body.

      Oh that's funny about your son in the background when you were on the phone with your daughter-in-law! I know both the feeling and the type. I sometimes feel overwhelmed with too much extra food in storage and just want to clean it all up and finish it. I get this from my father. We would have never had more than a week's worth of food in the house at a time. He would have seen a stuffed pantry as "clutter". Good thinking on phrasing it as a gift to your daughter-in-law. Your son can't begrudge her a gift, now can he?

      I hope your shopping with your daughters is productive and you do indeed find squash at a good price at WinCo!

      Delete

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