Wednesday, November 2, 2011

October 2011 Garden Upate

The fall garden is coming along nicely, after a dry September (and a high water bill--9000 gallons of water... our typical use is 3-5 thousand gallons per month) October came in with a decent rain storm often enough that I was able to use just rain barrel water on the gardens.

Squash, the plants are pretty small, but starting to produce... small squash


I thought I had planted at least half a dozen cucumber plants, but only one came up (and squash came up in most of the places I expected cucumbers... hmm, maybe letting a 4 year old plants the seeds was not the best idea). So far, the cucumber is doing great, and has a few baby cucumbers starting.


I love green beans, these guys are coming along nicely and it should be a bumper crop with all of the blooms I see. The plants seem a bit spindly, but seem to be blooming like champs.

Hyacinth Bean (not edible, just pretty)

SO pretty this year, even if it refused to grow over the arbor and instead took over a 5 foot section of fence on each side of the arbor instead.

The bean pods are numerous this year and since I can't (or won't) eat them, I've started using them in floral arrangements (and by 'floral arrangements' I mean the 1 bunch of measly stems and herbs I gave to an elderly friend of mine).


"MOMMY! My seeds are growing! My seeds are growing!"
Boy is thrilled, I have more basil plants to harvest from, we are all happy and eating our weight in pesto on a weekly basis.

Swiss Chard

Still my #1 favorite garden green. I tried a new way to cook Swiss Chard last week and we all love it: Swiss Chard "chips". I'm still working on the method, but so far, my best attempt involves washing the leaves, rubbing them with olive oil (with my hands) and then sprinkling them with garlic salt and baking at 400F for about 5 minutes until they turn crisp, but not burn--a very fine line. The result is a crisp, crumbly, salty snack that is somewhat like the Nori sheets that come wrapped around sushi rolls. I have seen a similar method for cooking Kale, but never tried it. A few things I need to work out, so far, only about half the leaf turns crisp, the rest stay kind of floppy (tastes just like sauteed, not bad, just not what I'm going for). I crumbled one of the chard chips over my baked potato the other day and it was delicious. I have not figured out how to make this in quantity either, the leaves are so huge, that I can only fit about 3 on a normal sized cookie sheet. It is a work in progress.


The herbs all looked scraggly at the end of the long hot summer so in September I cut them down to the ground. They have grown back up with a flourish and are doing great. I knew the Oregano would do well with this treatment, but the flat leaf parsley came back nicely as well.

The weather is holding nicely. On an almost weekly basis we have had cold front that drops our temperatures into the 40s with rain, then within two days we are back up into the 70s again. I love Texas in the fall.

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