Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Monday, October 08, 2007

The Garden That Would Not Die


Glorious Eggplants

I can’t believe the weather this autumn. I’d be thrilled if I wasn’t concerned that the heat might be a reflection of climate change kicking into much higher gear. It’s a week into October, and the vegetable garden continues to produce like it’s August. I spent much of Saturday afternoon freezing eggplant. I froze three pints. We have two varieties coming in at the moment- the Asian variety that I posted about last week (Pingtung), and a beautiful Italian strain called Rosa Bianca. We’re also still getting tomatoes including a big orange one called Nebraska Wedding, a smaller red one called Stupice and two not pictured here: the nearly black Cherokke Purple and a very prolific cherry tomato called Mexican Midget.


Still Life #2 with Eggplant

I’m still harvesting summer squash. This was another successful experiment this year. I usually lose all of my squashes and cukes to squash boreres. I have found that by planting late, I avoid that problem. Next year, I will refine the technique a bit and try more varieties. There’s a ton of basil that I need to turn into pesto. The cold season stuff is, of course, doing great. We have huge Swiss chard and it looks like I’ll get my first ever crop of autumn lettuce.


Swiss Chard - Fordhook Giant


With the exception of the basil, everything in this year’s garden was started from seed. That’s a first for us- I usually buy flats of eggplant and tomatoes.

In unrelated news, I'm making lemoncello. Here are the lemon peels steeping in vodka. They're sitting on the reoof just outside of the bathroom window. I hope the toilet spiders don't crawl under the jar.

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6 Comments:

At 22:02, Blogger Ur-spo said...

apart from the mexican midget, i recognize all the other toms; they are marvelous.
the bianca egglant is also a favorite.
apparently my EMDR for arachnophobia has worn off as your link to the barking spider made me jump a few feet.....

 
At 08:49, Blogger butterfly girl said...

Your title would make a great children's book.

I don't know what it would be about but it suits.

I know I'm weird.

I like your look very much. Disheveled.

;)

 
At 18:19, Anonymous Mark H said...

Lemoncello! My Mormon background revealed again! I have just looked this up because I didn't know what it is. Are those lemon peelings in there? REcipe says be careful not to get the pith.... HOW are YOU making it Doug? It looks like something I'd want to drizzle over pound cake..........right? I am SO ENVIOUS of your late garden...and NO deer fence? My lettuce is trying to grow...gets about an inch, and deer get it now.

 
At 08:19, Blogger Doug Taron said...

spo- I'm not surprised that you are aware of most of the varieties that we're rowing this year. They're mostly from Seed Savrs Exchange

Heather- I was actually going for something that sounded like the title of a horror film.

Mark- I use a wide vegetable peeler to remove the zest without getting the pith. The peelings/vodka sit in the sun for a week, then get strained. I add a sugar syrup. I'll send the exact recipe. I've never used it on pound cake, but I bet it would be good. I usually drink it like a liqueur or use it as an ingredient in a cocktail.

 
At 17:01, Blogger TaraDharma said...

found your blog via newdharmabums. those egglplant are gorgeious. Do you freeze raw or cooked? Given their texture, I would think these would be difficult to thaw and remain viable. But what do I know?

 
At 17:30, Blogger Doug Taron said...

taradharma- Welcome to the Tapestry, thanks for stopping by. I steam-blanch the eggplant before freezing. This is necessary to stop enzyme action that would spoil them, even at freezer temperatures. I once froze green beans without blanching and they ended up like little slivers of 2 x 4. Frozen eggplant has much less versatility than fresh, but it's great in things like casseroles and ratatouille.

 

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