Mid October Harvests

The garden is still giving us plenty to eat in the middle of October, but not so much as the fevered pace of summer harvests. Much of the veggies, like chard and lettuce, are harvested as we need them. We got a little bit of each last week, enough for salads and some sauteed chard.

leaf lettuce

Not harvested was this leaf lettuce that was in planters just outside the greenhouse. The deer decided we had put out a salad bar for them, and ate 2/3’s of it. I can’t blame the deer for trying to get a free lunch. I will be more careful in the future about leaving things unprotected.

lettuce eaten by deer

Other things are harvested now because they need to be, like the figs. The Brown Turkey and Hardy Chicago fig plants have rewarded us with over 6 pounds of figs so far this fall, almost 2 pounds of them this week alone. The Brown Turkey is the larger of the two, but while the Hardy Chicago figs are much smaller, they are just as tasty and sweet – maybe even sweeter. I’ve got enough to bake some fig bars later today.

basket of fresh figs

Once again I got just enough small fruited tomatoes to oven roast another pan of them this week. Some went into a frittata, and the rest will go into a pasta dish tonight. We have gotten so much use out of the smaller tomatoes that I will plant even more of them next year. I’ve already scouted out some new varieties to try next year (among them Red Pear, Red Fig, Beam’s Yellow Pear and Black Zebra) .

pan of roasted tomatoes

The Long Neck Pumpkins are still not quite ready to harvest. It looks like we’ll get one really nice large one, while two smaller ones are still questionable. I said I would be happy if I only got one, and it looks like I might get my wish!  I made some soup with one of the butternut squashes harvested back in August. I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, then drizzled it with olive oil and sprinkled it with chipotle powder before baking. I also baked a head of garlic at the same time. When the squash was tender I pureed it and the garlic with some chicken broth and added a bit more chipotle. It made for a spicy and filling soup.

butternut squash soup

A few slicing tomatoes, a cucumber and some Fairy Tale eggplant rounded out the harvests, and the total haul for the week was 6.8 pounds. For more harvests and gardener’s reports, visit Daphne’s Dandelions.

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