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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Celebrating Autumn

Even though Summer is my favorite season at present because I am primarily a vegetable and edibles gardener, and I therefore hate to see it end, there is something exciting yet restful about fall, most of the hard gardening work is over and still the fruits of the work linger.  This year I worked up a new cabbage family and greens bed that is very large and which I managed to completely overplant in turnips yet again-  not just any turnips but monster oval Italian turnips, this is the largest so far-
They will keep us in greens and hopefully turnips all winter and even next spring when they start blooming and go to seed.   I did have problems last year with the tops, which stick out of the ground where colored, freezing and turning brown, but the bottom root was still edible, and I may try mulching heavily and covering some rows with plastic to see if I can prevent frost damage.  I also have some wild red and lacinato kale planted there, and Brussels sprouts, San Michele cabbage, and Cicory , which I hope will perform this time though I haven't succeeded well with them in the past.

One point of celebration is the blooming of my "Christmas" cactus-

Another is picking out some pumpkins to cook from a farmer's field, Connecticut Field on the left and Howden on the right.
My favorite way to cook them is to cut then in half, clean them out with my handy dandy tool, cut then in strips, peel them, then pressure cook chunks so they are easy to puree for soups.  Twenty some-odd years ago I envisioned the perfect tool to clean pumpkin seeds and pulp out, then I was in a store and found one on sale.
The serrated edge really works great to do the scooping.  It doesn't help with the messy job of separating the seeds from the pulp.  I ended up feeding the seeds to my chickens, who went for them more than for the pulp.

My soup recipe includes coconut milk, which gives it a lovely taste and creaminess, and Turmeric with various ground seeds like Dill, Caraway, Fennel, Anise, Cumin, Fenugreek, and Coriander, as well as lemon pepper, ginger, and maybe some pumpkin pie spices..  I like the hand-held stick blenders for pureeing the soup, no messy transferring of hot liquids and handling hot blender containers.   I also keep some unblended but mashed pumpkin to eat on rice or buckwheat with goat cheese, and poached egg, as we eat vegetarian and gluten-free food most of the time, and I avoid dishes with sugar and baked starches.  Fortunately there is Stevia.

The last area of celebration is colorful fall foliage, like the wonderful colors of blueberry leaves and an orange-toned cutleaf Japanese maple-

My two small Japanese maples, have become brilliant red again after being rather drab over the summer, Amber Ghost-

And not as vigorous Purple Ghost, but more intense red-
So, I hope everyone else finds it easier to sleep now like I do and is enjoying the festivity and excitement that the season seems to generate, perhaps as a result of the invigorating cold air.



  1. There is just something so beautiful about the way the light falls on your garden pics! I enjoyed!

  2. Thanks, Randy. It is misty and rainy here most of the time now. But I had all kinds of transplanting I wanted to do outside and need a few dry days.:-(