these are mouse melons. tiny little cucumbers that look like miniature watermelons. they are still producing! pick them when they are little for a more mellow flavor. they are delicious and the perfect pop of cucumber. i grew them on the trellis with the rest of the cukes and string beans. i am in love. they will be a staple now for sure.
it's salad time. though i tend to nibble these just as they are, with only a bit of sea salt added. i love radishes. and that cleared out radish spot was just what i needed. i started one too many tomato plants this season and was able to fit a small amount of the overflow into that opening. i'll have to be creative with the rest. i've been considering the flower garden. whatever works!
if you have never tried a delicata squash, i urge you to do so. the flavor is subtle and sweet and so very delicious. we grew some this year (in the new squash pit) and our four little plants took off running, literally::
bake at 400 degrees for about a half hour. as soon as they feel nice and soft when squeezed, they are done. be sure to keep an eye on the water in your pan. once scorched, twice shy. then just a little butter, some flaky salt and a spoon. i was never a squash lover. at all. quite the opposite. then along came delicata. and the rest is history.
it's time again for bringing it all in, for putting up what's to be stored and for enjoying the rest. we extended our growing area this season, so the pickings just keep rolling in. we added a potato patch, a squash pit and a separate tomato sight. we grew heirlooms, purple cherries, green zebra's and lots of beefsteaks. we trellised japanese cukes, pickling cukes and three different varieties of beans. we tried out brussels sprouts, bok choy, garlic and even quinoa. not to mention all of the staples. it was a busy summer in the garden. and, as usual at this time of year, it's a bit of a relief to start pulling it all up and turning it all over as fall creeps in. i'm ready for cool and crisp.
early on in the spring, big b made us a beautiful strawberry cage. it is a complete cage, buried in about 10 inches of soil. i found some amazing heirloom alpine strawberry seeds and heirloom pineapple strawberry seeds and started them out inside. the pineapple strawberries will be yellow when ripe. we're hoping to see some next season. i also purchased one plant from our favorite garden shop that would give us fruit this summer::
it's filling in nicely. and the variety i purchased has been producing fruit all summer long. sometimes doubled::
and sometimes heart-shaped. nice touch, mother nature::
now all of the birds can sit and drool. and the chipmunks can chew and gnaw to their heart's content. these berries aren't going anywhere. it's been a long fight, stretching over many summers, but we win, woodland creatures, we win!
look what happened to those tiny little rows of bok choy and radishes::
for the bok choy: chop, chop. saute in a bit of oil and garlic. that's it. unbelievably yummy. and the radishes?::
a few handfuls got chopped into salads but for the most part they were all picked, rinsed and crunched up with some goddess dressing. so good! and just as we finished the picking and pulling up, and cleared out those rows, we realized the catnip has completely grown back and is in full force again. friends with cats, see me. i've got the goods.
this first try growing bok choy was inspired by mary of buried treasures organic farm. i'm very lucky to be friends with her sister, who brought me two bags of produce from the farm last fall. so much goodness. thanks bethy! check out mary's facebook page to see what her and her lovely family are up to and what they are growing! if you live near ithaca new york, go see her at the farmers market :)
i planted a small pot of catnip in the garden last year, back by the herbs. did you know that it's a perennial? it was the first thing to come back this year and it's huge! we cut it all down at the beginning of the month::
we bundled it up and hung it to dry in the attic::
a half gallon jar of homegrown catnip. i will have to hide this from indy and ellie. they love to sprinkle it everywhere and watch the results. luma will indulge but sometimes walks right by. mako, on the other hand, is a different story. she was gnawing on the stems while i was picking and shredding. we may have some feline substance abuse issues soon if i'm not careful.