The nights are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to turn, and my garden is starting to look a lot more brown than green.
It is time for the fall harvest.
After another two frosty evenings in a row, some plants in the garden are finished for good.
I went out in the garden and harvested all of our tomatoes.
Red – Northern Delight and a few Beefsteak, destined for salsa, bruschetta, and BLT sandwiches (where the “B” stands for Basil – yum!) I already canned the bulk of them as salsa and stewed tomatoes.
Green – not even enough to make green tomato mincemeat! I might try to half (or quarter!) the recipe and at least make a small batch for winter desserts.
I also harvested all of the Mystery Keeper tomatoes, which will keep us in garden-fresh tomatoes for at least the first few months of winter.
The green and yellow beans are finished, but I did manage to have a snack of fresh green peas while I was poking around the garden. This is my absolute favourite way to eat peas, in fact, they rarely make it into the house (there’s local eating for you!)
Our soldier beans are not quite dry yet (and with the wet season we have had, many have rotted away), but I did collect a small bag of the first of the season. These will be made into baked beans (Hubby’s favourite!) throughout the winter, as well as substituted for other varieties of beans in burritos, nachos, soups and stews.
And what would a garden harvest be without a zucchini or two? We almost missed out on these with our cucumber beetle attack, but one plant survived and I have been able to harvest enough for fresh eating on pizza, in omelettes, and stuffed, and have frozen some of the bigger specimens, pre-grated, ready to keep us in muffins (and more muffins!) for the next few months. I also discovered a wonderful recipe for zucchini waffles which I made yesterday and loved! Kind of like a waffle version of zucchini bread. I added orange juice along with the milk in mine for extra flavour.
I pulled out the pepper plants which are no longer producing, and harvested jalapenos for salsa and jalapeno cheese sauce. I like to cut them in half, seed them, and then freeze them for later.
The carrots, squash, lettuce, spinach, chard, and potatoes are still growing nicely. The onions are curing on our deck, although I must admit I have already started cooking with some of them, I just couldn’t resist!
Most of the herbs are still flourishing, except for the basil which I pulled out by the roots yesterday and incorporated every leaf into making pesto, which I also freeze for later, some in ice cube trays and some in small glass jars. I of course saved a few plants to go with the delicious tomatoes all over my counter, but their season is almost done.
I must admit I have a certain satisfaction in knowing that our freezer and store room are starting to fill up with the food that will take us through the winter. Food that started as just a tiny seed in the ground only a few months ago. Growing your own food is a wonderful thing!
What are you harvesting from your garden?