Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Fall is here.....at least it is in Seattle

This morning started off with a little rain....which is nice because that means I don't have to go outside and water....it also means....fall is coming...and very soon. The forecast for the next ten days is mid to upper 60's....and rain.....tomorrow looks like the last day in the 70's for awhile.... maybe even til next spring.....

Which is fine with me.....I'm really for fall.
I'm ready to wear turtlenecks and sweaters and build cozy fires and sleep in on the weekends and lounge around in my pj's and smartwool socks.

I walked around the garden this afternoon and snapped a few garden photos....
I am slowly loosing my battle with the slugs....and I'm okay with it....I'm thinking I have about 2 more good weeks for tomato picking.....I read somewhere that you can wrap green tomatoes in newspaper and store them in the basement and they will slowly ripen....has anyone ever tried this?
Oh.... I just thought of something....I can also make fried green tomatoes.....hmmmm maybe I will have a "deep fry" party.....
Fried Chicken
Fried Green Tomatoes
and Fried Doughnuts with powered sugar for dessert.
Looks like there will be 3 Long Island Squash....this is the first year that I am growing "pie squash" as opposed to carving pumpkins...I think three will be the perfect amount for 1/2 a dozen pumpkin pies...these babies will not be sitting on the porch..... that's for sure.
The girls are as happy as ever (although I do suspect a mean girls club forming).....I have noticed them digging a giant hole in the center of their pen....China perhaps?
Some sort of bean I am growing as a "dried bean"....looks like a little piece of art.....
This is Buddy....the butternut.....I'm waiting for him to change to a tan color so I can pick him and his friends.....for dinner......but shhh....don't tell him that.
This is one of my hubbard squashes.....I have never grown these before and do not know if it is ready to pick yet....the other ones still have white lines on them but I think this might be ready....does anyone know for sure?
The second coming of beans....I hope they make it before the frost......
Our one and only jack o' lantern pumpkin....I thought I planted more.....but the seeds were 3 years old....maybe that had something to do with it....
I counted about 40 acorn squash growing around the garden.....looks like we will be eating a lot of acorn squash around here.....then again...these may work out to be a great "bartering tool" with the neighbor folk...."Ummm yes, Mrs. Hillbilly....would you like to trade 2 acorn squash for a 1lb of powered sugar?"......hey by the way....Mrs. Hill Billy....you owe me 1 amaretto cheesecake.....where is it?
I think the corn is ready to pick....but I'm not sure...how can you tell?
This is going to be a lovely project..... I need to divide up the strawberry plants.....
anybody want some?
Leeks! This is my first year growing these....I'm so excited.....though I may need to plant another 1000 plants if I am going to reach my goal of 2,000lbs of vegetables by the end of the year.
Uhhhh...I am NEVER growing these dumb tomatoes again....VINE WINE TOMATOES suck!
c'mon.... ask me how I really feel about them. Every single one of these tomatoes is a scabby mess....none...I repeat NONE of my other tomatoes look like this.
Hey Tori....look....it's kale!
The potatoes are just about ready to harvest. I am planning on having the handsome husband and monkeys harvest them this weekend.....secretly I know my husband likes harvesting potatoes....it's "his thing"...maybe it's cause he's Irish...I have no idea....I just know that he likes digging thru the dirt for them....it's the only thing he will harvest voluntarily.....it's actually a little weird now that I think about it.
Yummmm ...... fall sugar snap peas.... I've never grown peas in the fall....I hope they make it.....cause I can hear the stir fry pan sizzling already.....

green tomatoes in newspaper?
how do I know when to pick the corn?
and...is my hubbard squash ready to pick?


  1. I've never used newspaper for green tomatoes, but every year when the first frost threatened, we would strip the vines of everything and put them in bushel baskets in the spare room. By cutting off the heat to that room, we kept it cool, but not freezing and the tomatoes ripened slowly over the course of the next few weeks.

    Of course, some of then never ripened, and those were the ones we fried.

  2. Nice looking crops you have there.

    On corn, when the silks have dried press your thumbnail against a kernel. If it pops and the milk squirts out, the corn is ready. If it is hard you may have waited too long and then will have to wait a bit longer for it to dry on the vine for cornmeal.

    We sometimes harvest a large percentage of our tomatoes while the are still green. Any of the ones that have a tinge of color or are still green and blemish free but fully formed should ripen just fine if you set them out at room temperature for a few weeks. You can also wrap them in newspaper or put them in a bag or drawer with a few ripe apples to speed up the process. Apples give off an ethylene gas that helps the tomatoes to ripen. We never have bothered doing anything but setting them out on tables to ripen. The warmer it is the faster they ripen. We put any that we want to ripen quickly on a sunny window sill.

    Your squash will be done when that pumpkin turns orange or just before your first frost when the rind is hardened to the point that it is no longer easily pierced by your thumbnail. Make sure to leave a couple inches of stem on them so they will store longer for you, squash perspire through the stem. Use any stemless ones up first.

    If kept in a dry room at around 50-60°your tomatoes could slowly ripen all the way until Christmas and that squash could last until next spring. Leastwise ours do. Good job on growing such nice food.:)

  3. Your garden looks great--looks like you have some nice mulch! For the corn, I always just check it after the silk turns completely brown and look for the kernals to be full but don't let them get old & chewy. As for the squash, I know that for most types, you can just leave them out until frost--unless you don't really want them to keep getting bigger :)

  4. Troy, Mr. H and Thyhand....thank you! I think I will take your advise and let the squash sit out there until just before frost....and I will pick all the green tomatoes....and most of all thanks for telling me to look for "dry corn silk"....I think that's the key....I will report my findings back to you. Thanks garden buddies!

  5. We had tomatoes through December last year...pulled the vines just before the first frost and laid them out on newspaper on an old warped pool table in the basement. Of course, we didn't have as many tomato plants as we do this year...maybe we'll have to pick them from the vines this time.

    I think that wrapping them speeds up the ripening process, but we also do that on the windowsill.


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