Since there really hasn’t been too much to update about the garden, I haven’t posted in a few weeks. The weather has turned to fall with crisper mornings and delightful afternoons, with leaves turning colors and nippy winds whipping through the landscape.
Our daughter and I have been reading The Secret Garden for a few weeks now. I was probably about age 10 when I read it last, and it has been so nice to rediscover the book. She and I become so excited about the adventures of the garden that we can barely stand to put it down and wait for another day to read a future chapter. We decided it would be fun to make our own Secret Garden. She said I can tell you about it since it is the kind of garden we can show people and mainly the secret aspect of it is that it is in a less traveled part of the property. She and her daddy spent an afternoon raking and tidying a path and put an old iron trellis as the doorway. Late last week she and I looked through bulb catalogs and chose a few selections that would enjoy the dappled sunlight and partial shade—50 galanthus (snowdrops), 100 pink daffodils (guess who picked the color??), and 50 scilla (squill, also in pink). We’ll move some of the lily of the valley and Lenten roses from other garden beds with some liriope framing it all in. In another week or so, I’ll pick up some pansies for her to plant so that there is something exciting and colorful there now. The whole family is excited about the newest garden!
What did I plant?—I won’t be planting a fall vegetable garden this year. I’ll plant a few perennials later this week or early next along with some pansies in the Secret Garden.
What did I harvest?— Bell peppers, lima beans, jalapenos, green tomatoes, cherry and grape tomatoes, red slicing tomatoes, green beans, herbs, flowers for arranging. At a church friend’s home, I picked a mess of collard and turnip greens for the children’s program at church and another mess for our home. Maybe 2 kitchen garbage sacks full total?
What did I preserve?—Not a ton of preserving going on this time of the year. I’ll pick the rest of the green tomatoes and the jalapenos today so that the frost won’t bite them before we can. I’ll make pickled green tomatoes and wrap some paper around some of the green ones to ripen later. The jalapenos will all be pickled. I already have quarts and quarts and quarts of them, and I’ll be mainly using them so they won’t waste. I’ll hope to find a good home for them soon.
How did I work to reduce waste and live more simply?— A friend passed a pair of jeans to our daughter as hand-me-downs and my cousin gave her a big bag full of clothes and shoes. We are so blessed!
How did I work at building and strengthening community food systems?— I worked in the food pantry and made some boxes for easy distribution. We resumed the children’s program at church now that the school year has started, and I help make the meals for the kids each week. I also helped with the men’s breakfast at church. I went to the farmers market this weekend. I passed some bread and butter pickles on to the friend who let me pick greens.
Did I try any new recipes or were there any special meals at our table?— I learned recently that I was a bit anemic and therefore have been making more meals with meat as the centerpiece. The roast that I made was absolutely fork tender, and I used a trick I had learned from a prime rib recipe. I seared both sides of the meat in a bit of olive oil in a Dutch oven on the stove. I turned the heat way down and cooked it for an hour. When I realized I didn’t have time to watch the pot on the stove, I switched to the oven (this is where the prime rib recipe comes in). I put it in the oven and turned it on 500 degrees. Once it reached that temp, I turned it off and left the roast in the covered oven to cook as the heat decreased. It sat in there for about 4 hours and when I took it out it was still warm and as tender as it could be. YUM! The original recipe for the prime rib is to turn it on 500 before you go to sleep and then let it sit in the closed oven in a covered dish overnight with the heat off.