I never want to wish time to speed up, but frankly I am glad to see the end of summer 2010. So far this year we have had over 75 days with temps in the 90s(F), and our rainfall has been a foot less than normal. I don’t know if fall will be any wetter than summer this year, but it’s already cooler, and that is a welcome relief!
Last week I broke ground on the new Impact garden, though perhaps “broke” is too strong a word to use. The tiller chattered and jumped over the parched brown grass, sending up dust clouds whenever it did manage to penetrate into the soil. I finally got down through most of the dead sod. That’s about the best I can hope to do until we get some rain and the soil softens up a bit. The conditions are similar to when I started our new vegetable garden here in 2007, and I remember how difficult it was to work the soil that fall.
And speaking of the garden here, the star performer this week was the fig. We got over two pounds of them, which was enough to snack on plus some for drying. I cut some of the big Brown Turkey figs in quarters, wrapped them with a piece of prosciutto and a bit of Parmigiano cheese, and grilled them for a couple of minutes. Mmmm good!
I harvested enough small fruited tomatoes (Juliet, Golden Rave, Black Cherry, Sun Gold) to roast some in the oven. These roasted tomatoes are a real favorite of ours. They found their way onto pita pizzas, and into a frittata.
I also harvested some nice Dancer eggplants this week. Those got grilled, and there are some Fairy Tale eggplants that need to be dealt with soon. Thank goodness for the Fairy Tale plants in pots. The rest of the plants have not done well at all this year. The ones in pots are more convenient to water, plus the Fairy Tale variety is very prolific.
It looks like we will have some fall cucumbers next week. I’ve never tried to grow a late crop of cucumbers, but the Manny variety from Territorial Seed (formerly Sharon 59) was bred to do well in the greenhouse during colder months. It’s done great in the spring for us, so I decided to give it a try in the fall. I hope it performs, because it’s taking up a fair amount of space in the greenhouse beds. If we have cucumbers in October it will be worth it!
The other big harvest this week was compost. I shoveled and sifted a batch that I started back in early August. I got a whopping 14 bushels from bin#2 alone! At least half of that went on the raised beds where I will plant garlic next month. We hope to get another batch of compost cooking next week. We’ve got plenty of plant material waiting to be shredded, and there should be time to get it finished before cold weather sets in.
Our total harvest this week was 7 pounds, and the slower pace of the garden in Fall is really nice. There’s still plenty to be done, but now the freezer and pantry are full of food, and there’s more time to enjoy the autumn weather before winter arrives. I think I see a picnic in our future, and maybe a day trip or two. I hope you’re enjoying the season, wherever you are!