Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Late in the Season

It's a sad thing for a gardener to admit, but we're reaching the end of our growing season here in Minnesota. The tomato leaves have been stripped, the cucumers are growing without restraint, and the green beans are pretty much done producing. The edemame is past its prime, but I did get to enjoy a small amount of it. Not worth the effort for the amount I actually wanted to eat.

We tried a new variety of tomato last week- Kellogg's Breakfast. It was a large beautiful tomato, but we weren't thrilled with the flavor, tasted a little bit like dirt to me, haha. So I've got several of those ripe on the vine that I don't really want to eat when I've got good alternatives like Brandywines or Lemon Boys.

The Giant Syrian has not produce as good a tomato as that first one, and the Todd County Amish is an okay tomato, but doesn't match up to some of the others in the flavor department. Big Beef is a classic old standby, and the Lemon Boy is emerging as one of our stars this year- consistently beautiful fruit and awesome flavor- definately a must grow for next year. The Cherokee Purple was really good, but it appears as though some of my plants (that one included) were stricken with some sort of illness and many of the fruit are not looking worthy of eating. The Earl's Faux is also one of our favorites this year- consistently producing useable, tasty fruit. And of course the Brandywine- one of my favorites. The Romas have also been great- separated from the rest of the garden and growing in a barrel, they have been bountiful and very good as usual.

I've got lots of tomatoes to use up, so it's time to look for tomato soup and sauce recipes.

The cukes are still producing faster than we can eat them, but I've stopped making pickles as we're beyond the amount of pickles I can eat and give away in a year, lol. Still working on finding that perfect recipe.

The Zinnias are blooming and are just beautiful, even though I think they have some powdery mildew or the like. The leeks are burried under the giant cucumber mass and I doubt they'll be much to write home about having not had a fighting chance at sunlight this year.

The peppers are doing great, although I mislabeled a few of my seedlings and instead of ending up with 1 serrano and 1 bell pepper, I got 2 bell peppers. Of course the horses are happy with their continuous supply of carrots- Louie loves the greens but doesn't eat the carrots, so there's left overs to share. :)

Some clean up is needed in the garden to remove dead plants and fruit and prepare for fall. I plan to harvest the parsnips this fall before the ground freezes solid. For now, we're relaxing and enjoying the hassle-free endless supply of fresh garden veggies! Cheers!