Stay Connected

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Quick Autumn Garden and Harvest Update

purple fingerling potatoes

Over the weekend we dug 1 of the 2 potato beds. It was a poor year for potatoes for us. This bed produced about 15 pounds of potatoes. I expected hoped for more. We'll dig the second bed in about 10 days. Despite my disappointment, there were enough potatoes for next year's seed potatoes for both beds plus some for our meals in October and early November.

sweet fig preserves

The weather is cooling enough so that the figs will no longer ripen this season. Tuesday I harvested enough unripe figs to make 3 pints of sweet fig preserves. I simmer the figs in water 3 times, changing the water between simmerings. After draining the water and squeezing the excess water from each fig, I simmer the figs in a sugar, water, whole clove solution for 25 minutes. At that point I add lemon juice and simmer 5 additional minutes before putting the figs in syrup into jars. These are delicious. While I enjoy them just as is, my family especially enjoys them pureed with applesauce and a bit more spice, or used in spice cake. Anyway, sweet preserved figs is a good way to use those that will never ripen. I should be able to make another batch later this week. [recipe ingredients: 40 unripe figs, 2.75 cups water, 2.5 cups sugar, 35 whole cloves, 3 tablespoons lemon juice]

indoor-grown radishes -- we eat the leaves as well as roots

I've got my indoor radish operation in full production, with 4 trays of containers filled with potting soil and radish plants. Here's what I harvested for our salad on Saturday evening.

mâche I started indoors then moved out to the garden for fall/winter salads -- it prefers cool temps

The mâche is growing better than I'd thought. The direct sun seems to be so little this time of year and with our large evergreens surrounding the yard. But those tiny little plants just keep growing. I should be able to harvest some for salads in early November.

One of our pear trees decided to surprise us with 5 pears. This tree's fruit is normally ready for harvesting in July. Sometime in mid-summer, I noticed it had developed more blossoms. Our unusually cold May and June must have fooled the tree into thinking spring had begun again. Anyway, 5 pears that I didn't expect is a wonderful blessing.

I'm waiting on the crabapples to turn a deep red before harvesting those. The crabapple harvest is usually in mid-October. It may be pushed to late October this year, as everything has been later than usual following that very cool start to the growing season.

I picked the first tiny pumpkin from our patch. It's itty bitty. One of my squirrel friends nabbed another tiny squash yesterday morning. So I thought I should bring this one inside before it became my furry friend's lunch.

No photos, but we've had an unbelievable crop of green beans this year. Every time I pick another handful I think to myself that the plants must be about done for the year. Then I'm out in the garden the next day and find a bunch more. Some things did well this year, while others didn't. I guess I should take my blessings as they come and not worry about what didn't happen as I'd planned.


  1. Gardens are always a big surprise for me. Sometimes things don't look so good and then at the end there is this amazing amount of food that comes out of it. We had some tomatoes that an animal ate all the tops off and they still grew and gave me some nice tomatoes. Tomatoes in buckets didn't start very well but I harvested a lot of tomatoes to can. Herbs started slow but ended up giving me way more than I expected. Dad gardened again this year and he had green peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and the carrots were amazing. The beets were the size of softballs. Dad cleaned up the garden on Monday and it is now done for the year and I saw a deep sadness in dad. It's just the next step of being alone for the winter with nothing to do. He like to bake bread so I suggested that he research and perfect his bread making this winter. Mom used to do puzzles but dad didn't so I won't suggest that. I just don't know what to suggest for a winter project.

    1. Hi Alice,
      my garden surprises me every year. I'm glad you were able to harvest lots of herbs and tomatoes. Wow, your dad must be quite a gardener. I'd love to have his knowledge.
      I feel for him and his loss. I'm so glad you live near him and can visit. I think men have a much harder time with the loss of a wife than the other way around. I'll keep him in my prayers.

  2. For the first year, our fig tree has produced more than a handful of figs. I was wondering what to do with all of the unripened ones since they don't ripen once picked. Thanks for the information on sweet fig preserves.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      The unripe figs are wonderful once preserved. You need to help them release their bitter taste through repeated simmering/draining. I cut off the tops and put an x cut into the ends before adding to water to simmer. Then after the final simmering, I allow them to cool enough to handle and gently squeeze the excess liquid out of each one. At that point, they can either be chopped to make a jam or preserved whole in a sugar syrup.
      Here's my spiced fig jam recipe:
      I gave small jars of spiced fig jam as gifts one year with a block of goat cheese (chèvre) and some nice crackers. This gift was really appreciated.

  3. I doubt anyone has experience, but maybe so here goes. My dd and I both bought a fig tree a few weeks ago from a guy who came into town selling fruit trees. I tried asking questions and he told me to google-what a jerk. Anyway, I know that here they have to be grown in pots, and brought in for the winter. My question is how do I get it to go dormant in the house? Do I just put it in the basement and ignore it? I have to water this thing almost everyday so it’s still taking in water. If I quit now I’m afraid I’m going to kill it. I have googled and really can’t find an answer because most people are able to still have them outside this time of year.


    1. Hi Diane,
      I'm glad you were able to get some information on how to deal with your new fig tree in winter for your area. I hope yours survives. Let us know in spring if your tree made it.

  4. Diane,
    Do you have a local gardening center in your area? Or a master gardener program? If so, you could call them and ask your question.
    - Tina

  5. That’s a good suggestion. I think we do have a master gardener program, but I honestly don’t know. I will try to find info on that.I tried asking on a local fb gardening group but no one could help me. I might be able to get some info from the county extension office, but previous experience with them tells me they are worthless here lol. Figs don’t grow here-that’s just a simple fact. Nothing grows here very well lol.I was counting on that guy to give me some help, not tell me to google. I have not found any info on growing them in zone 2.


    1. Ok, I did finally get a lady to help me on my fb post. She’s not exactly the same as us, but very close. She told me she puts hers in her greenhouse until we start getting into the low 20’s, then into the garage for a couple weeks, then into her basement to spend the winter. Since mine has been in the house I think I need to skip the greenhouse and go right to the garage. My garage usually stays about 10-20 degrees warmer than outside at night. Also, we are going to be in the low 20’s this week. Next year(if there is a next year) when it’s outside for the summer these temperatures won’t be such a shock to the plant. My dd has her on her south facing enclosed front porch, but I don’t have that option.



Thank you for joining the discussion today. Here at creative savv, we strive to maintain a respectful community centered around frugal living. Creative savv would like to continue to be a welcoming and safe place for discussion, and as such reserves the right to remove comments that are inappropriate for the conversation.


Be a voice that helps someone else on their frugal living journey

Are you interested in writing for creative savv?
What's your frugal story?

Do you have a favorite frugal recipe, special insight, DIY project, or tips that could make frugal living more do-able for someone else?

Creative savv is seeking new voices.


share this post