It’s a few weeks earlier than normal, but I knew we had a wet Sunday forecasted and I hadn’t picked tomatoes for a few days because we’ve been working on a big project around here (how’s that for a teaser?), so I picked all I could find on Saturday afternoon.
- Yellow and green zucchini (the giant clubs were composted, though)
- Large ripe, red bell peppers
- A million small, sweet peppers
- About 10 ears of corn (most just the last of the partial ears low on the plants, but, hey…)
- As many grape tomatoes as I could find that weren’t split and rotted…
- The second head of fall broccoli (plus some shoots from the spring plants- they’re like the energizer bunny)
- Three heads of purple cabbage (there’s a story behind these: they are from a plant that is a year old- I cut the head off and left the root in the ground ’cause it was out of the way and I’m, well, a little lazy *ah..hem.* Then I saw about 5 new little heads last spring and decided to leave it to see how big they got. Three of them grew to regular sized heads all on the same plant. Seriously. And they are perfect. Talk about your easy food source….)
- The last of the basil- just brought in the whole bush to pick off the leaves while watching TV. You do what you gotta do…
- An experimental cayenne pepper plant. Last year I hung one in the garage to dry. Well, I live in the Pacific Northwest, yet I guess I really thought this was a possibility. That is, until I saw all the mold on them. This year I’m using the dehydrator.
- A sunflower seed head. I take one into the preschool I teach every fall and read The Tiny Seed to the kids and then put the seed head in the science center with some tweezers for them to pull the seeds out with. They LOVE it. Then we plant the seeds in the spring and they take home a sunflower plant.
- About 40 little white pumpkins. I love decorating with these and sharing them with my preschoolers, too. I haven’t had to plant seeds after the second year- I always have volunteers and just move them where I want them to grow.
Oh, I’ve still got some, though they’re in the “pinkish” stage still. I picked everything that I thought might turn because I didn’t want them to split with the rain. Some are in brown paper bags to ripen throughout the rest of the month, some are in single layers in boxes.
These baskets hold the last of the heirlooms. Sadly, my favorite Cherokee Purple didn’t really produce much this year. I think I got a total of 5 tomatoes, and a few of those were pretty small.
Brandywine was the winner this year. It took awhile, but when they finally decided to ripen- whoa!
A 5 gallon bucket of paste tomatoes. The really large ones are an heirloom called “Polish Linguisa” that is very similar to the Amish Paste that I grew last year. I think these held up longer that Amish though, and you gotta love the size…so I will probably grow them again.
And a little basket of some ripe (and splitting) tomatoes that I need to use right away. I’m seeing freezer Roasted Tomato Sauce in their future…
How about you? Any last harvests, fall gardens, decorations, or recipes you can share with us?