September 29, 2009

How the Garden Grows: September

Things are winding down in the garden these days. We finally got tomatoes! I'm guessing the cool summer held the tomatoes back a bit. We were worried there for awhile that we weren't going to get any tomatoes at all, but they ended up doing okay. Who would have thought September would be warmer than August! The plants got so heavy with tomatoes the cages were bending. I turned several pounds of the tomatoes into a delicious marinara sauce and we have eaten them on salads and burgers and just sliced with salt as well.

The cucumbers are finally done. I still have several in the fridge that call out to me every time I open the door. I may have to find one last cucumber recipe to try.

Every time I pick what I think is the last of the jalapenos, I find a few more. They are the "Little Engine That Could" of the garden world. I don't think I'll have enough for another jar of pickled peppers (I've made 3 so far), but maybe another batch of poppers.

The celery is still growing. Not quite to what it looks like when you buy it in the grocery store though so I haven't cut any of it yet. I'll have to do a little research on harvesting, we might get our first frost soon and I don't know if it will survive that or not.

The onions are all harvested and braided together hanging in the garage. I was hoping to get some bigger ones, more like you see in the store. They are tasty though and actually a few times it's been nice to grab a small one and use the whole thing with no waste.

I have several of the herbs I planted harvested and hanging in the garage. Whether or not they are actually edible time will tell. I ended up letting the cilantro go to seed. My dreams of fresh salsa all summer long were lost when the tomatoes decided to take the slow road. Did you know that cilantro seeds are coriander? I didn't until this year! After the plant grew tall enough and had plenty of seeds, I cut it and let it dry a week or so before stripping the seeds off the stems. I got a nice little baggie of coriander for my efforts. Now I just need to find some recipes that call for coriander!This will be the last garden update for the year... unless the celery harvest gets really exciting. Overall, I have to say I am pretty happy with how the garden did. We got a good sized harvest out of a fairly small space. And except for the late tomatoes and the unknown outcome of the celery we didn't have any major vegetable deaths. What more could a beginning gardener ask for?

No comments: