Friday, September 16, 2011

Harvest weekend

This is the final weekend of summer...now that's a sobering thought, isn't it?  I love fall, but I'm pretty partial to summer too.  It's always a little bit sad thinking that another beautiful and long-awaited summers' coming to a close.  Oh well...whatcha gonna do?  Go with the flow baby!!

So, my garden has surely been a disappointment to me this year.  Firstly, I decided not to plant much.  That's my fault.  I planted 7 tomato plants and had numerous volunteers shoot up from last year.  Having said that, last week I picked our very first ripe tomatoes.  That's right.  Hard to believe that, but it's true.  I had 4 or 5 and one of those I threw out because it was mushy and tasted terrible.  First time that's ever happened!  I have some yellow cherry tomatoes that are ok tasting.  I've had better.  They're very low in acid and rather blah in taste...won't be planting that variety again.  I have a Beefsteak, that's the plant that's given me a few ripe ones.  They're nice in size and color, haven't eaten any yet, so that's still undecided.  And then a friend gave me an heirloom variety called Brandywine.  I have some tomatoes on the vines, but as of yet; no ripe tomatoes.  Hmmm....mighty slow in ripening wouldn't ya say?

I have tomatillos, also given to me by my friend.  I didn't even really know what a tomatillo was but...they're tasty little things.  And there's bunches of those.  I picked a smallish bowlful of those last night...making us some salsa verde tonight to put on our soft tacos with leftover barbecued pork tenderloin, some of those ripe beefsteak tomatoes, chopped onion, a little grated cheddar cheese, sour cream...yum!  We have watermelon and cantelope (not from my garden) and homemade marionberry/wildblackberry pie that I made last night.  The berries are homegrown...marions I planted and the wild blackberries; well, those just abound everywhere.  I'm pretty sure I may have picked what may prove to be the last of the berries for this season...sigh...sad.  But, we'll surely enjoy sinking our teeth into that pie later tonight.  Hmmhhmm good!!

The only other thing planted in my garden is some flat-leafed parsley and that's growing gung-ho.  So, you see it's not much of a garden this year.  Hopefully the tomatoes will ripen and I'll dry those and stick the sun-dried tomatoes seasoned with sea salt and basil into freezer bags for use later on this winter.  I'm picking up a few local tomatoes at a fruitstand on my way home tonight and have plans to dry up a batch this weekend.  Makes wonderful additions to store-bought spaghetti sauce, throw in a few chopped mushrooms, bell pepper and black olives...yummy!  Dresses up Prego and makes it your own!!  Sshh...no one willl ever know!!  :)

The pears from our trees in the backyard have been out-doing themselves this year.  Me and the horses have been enjoying those, as well as the apples.  Hubby and I will make a trip to a local orchard and pick a bunch of apples for making applesauce and apple pie filling for the freezer.  We go through that in a heartbeat...tastes wonderful with homemade bisquits on a cold night.  The only real difference between my applesauce and pie filling is more sugar in the filling and it's more chunky...but in a pinch, we eat it however we want to.  I think I might pick up some pears and make some pearsauce and I want to make some plum jam for the freezer too.  Sheesh!  So many things I want to do!

I want to get some more hay before the weather turns rainy too.  And, let's not forget the firewood.  We have gotten none and I have no idea where we might get some, if we have to buy it.  Last year we chopped our own through the Oregon Dept. of Forestry.  $10 buys you a permit to cut 3 cords in 2 weeks, and you can buy up to 10 permits in a season.  The season begins when they open up the forests after the fire danger has passed.  That's usually sometime in October in Oregon.  I love storing up stuff for the winter!!  I'm a squirrel at heart!  But, my hubby appreciates it, and so do our horses!  We alll love to eat!!

So, unless my wonderful hubby has a few plans of his own; that's our weekend plans in a nutshell!!  Hope everyone who's having weather-related issues gets some relief soon.  There have been floods, fires, storms and all manner of tragedy in our country this year.  May it finished soon.

Blessings everyone,
Lorie @ Cingspots

9 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

I think your garden sounds pretty good. We had some really good tomatoes this year(from other people's garden's). We don't have a garden. Love fresh autumn apples. Around here my favorites are called Honey Crisp.

We're currently searching for the best hay for the winter months too. Sounds like you'll be prepared to snuggle in and have a cozy winter but you knew that being a squirrel at heart.

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

We only had tomatoes and herbs (basil.) And pole beans that are just starting to climb I'm not sure they'll make it before the first frost. I am planting mums!! I love mums in the fall. We have an apple tree in our yard. It is not great for eating but I am thinking the horses will like them chopped up!
Thanks for the helpful and sweet comment on my last post! ;-) I do hope things work okay with your herd adjustment. I will try putting My Boy and Loretta back together next week.

fernvalley01 said...

Busy gathering nuts I see, it is the time of year for it !

Lea and her Mustangs said...

Lorie, I think our tomatoes are all good but I don't know what they are. No cherry ones. I don't care for them much. What do you do with tomitios. I see them in the store but don't know what they are used for. Hope the ponies are getting along OK. I am still struggling with the saddle issue. How wide at the gullet is a full bars QH saddle. Blessings

Chelsi said...

The season is so late here in BC this year... there are blackberries on the vine that arent even ripe yet! Hard to believe. I had some awesome peaches last night, first really good fruit this year... it was an ugly summer for growing it seemed.

The yellow tomatoes are good for people that cant handle the acid (like my mom and me:)

I too feel like it is time to gather nuts for the winter! lol Bring on the fall!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I would gladly share some of my zucchini and yellow squash if I could. I'm taking in a huge basket of those and cucumbers to the feed store tomorrow and telling my friend to give it all away. I'm overwhelmed...and have all I will need already stored.

How do you do your dried tomatoes? That sounds yummy and I am going to have quite a few. Have already been making batches of salsa.

My best producing tomatoes are the Early Girls, but the Beefsteaks are coming on and I just love eating them. I have tons of the little cherry tomatoes and have been stuffing them with a creamy cucumber/dill mix. My husband loves those. The extra, I just cut up and use for refrigerator salsa or pico de gallo.

I had a bunch of volunteer yellow pear tomatoes come up from last year and am amazed at the number of fruit they are setting. Just got my first couple of those yesterday.

Oh and I planted a couple of heirloom tomato plants-one Black Prince, which bloomed like crazy and then just died. I have no idea what happened. And the other is a Mr. Stripy. There is not a lot of fruit on it and none have ripened. So I dunno if my soil is not good enough for the heirlooms or what. My hybrids are like freaking bushes they are so massive and covered in fruit.

C-ingspots said...

Grey horse - honey crisps are my favorite too! I also like Jonathans. The horses love them all! :)
Ranch girl - I just got some mums for planting too, even I can grow those!
Lea - Tomatillos are small, pale green tomato-like and are used primarily for making salsa verde. Before this year, I had no idea what they were either. They're ok, not as good as regular tomatoes though.
BEC - Your recipe for cherry tomatoes sounds delish! I'd love the recipe...as far as my sun-dried tomatoes?? Fiasco is the best word I can think of!! I ruined 2 cookie sheets of beautiful tomatoes...burnt the crap out of em!! grrrrrr Will have to try again - maybe!

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

Thanks for stopping over for a visit.... you sound busy - we also have some wood that needs to be done - just for heat in the shop but it sure is nice on those cold wintery days! By the way - I love all those leopard spots!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

i'll type that recipe up for you and email it to you. ;-)