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Archive for the ‘garden’ Category

Harvest

This weekend it has started to feel like fall around here; there have been a series of rainy days and the air is cool, even when the sun shines.

pepperandflower

The changing season and the start of a new school year remind me of my own good fortune as I get ready to return to work in times that are so difficult for so many.

In the garden the end of summer is apparent as well.  Peppers are ripening,

greenpepper

redpepper

and so are the tomatillos.

tomatillo

The herbs continue to grow as well, with sage,

sageleaves2

thyme,

thyme

and sorrel still green and fresh.

sorrelleaves

Some of the plants are still flowering, including peppers,

pepperflower

cucumbers,

cukeflower

chives,

chiveflowers

and eggplants.

eggplantflower

We’ll have to see how far they get before the first frost.

reflections

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Picking and pickling peppers

Today I decided it was finally time to pick some of the peppers that are ripening on the deck.  Even after I picked all of the ripe ones there are still a few more out there that are not quite ready yet.

peppersonthevine

After picking a selection of ripe peppers (we have jalapeno, cayenne, and a third kind called a Tunisian Baklouti), I brought them in and got them ready to pickle.

cuttingboard

There is nothing fancy about the method I used for these pickles.  I cut the stems off the peppers, peeled some garlic cloves, quickly blanched a few spring onions, cleaned the baby carrots some friends had brought us from their garden, and squeezed everything into two wide mouth, pint-sized, mason jars.

jars

I tossed in some whole pink peppercorns and some Penzey’s Shrimp and Crab Boil, and filled each jar to the brim with boiling white vinegar.

vinegar

I let the jars cool and then refrigerated them.  These pickles will need to stay refrigerated, and should keep for at least a month.

peppersinjar

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In the front

Even though I see it every time I come home, for some reason I don’t usually think of the front of my house as something worth photographing.  The roses are lovely

rosebud

and so are the other flowers.

flower

It wasn’t until this morning, when I went out to get the paper and realized that the roses needed some attention, that I found this visitor:

giantslug2

a Large red slug (aka European red slug).

This particular slug really is quite large (at least 2 inches when not fully extended) and seems to have made itself right at home on the stem of what I think are peonies.

giantslug3

Good thing we have these guys guarding our door.

guardians

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August garden update

After the extremely hot weather of the past week or so I didn’t have a lot of hope for the plants growing in containers on our deck.  Amazingly (thanks to the loving attention that S has given them and the water they received from our pet sitter) they have held on and there are vegetables ready for harvest.

The edamame, which had flowered profusely without any sign of fruit, have now produced a number of their distinctive fuzzy pods.

augustedamame

The peppers continue to flourish.

augustpeppers

Two kinds of eggplant are ripening as well.

augusteggplant

augusteggplant2

And the tomatillos look almost ready to roast and turn into a refreshing, tangy, salsa verde.

augusttomatillo

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So here I am in Maine, first afternoon, out driving around, and I realize that I forgot my camera.  As I drive there are many things I want to photograph but can’t:  my favorite sign, a familiar view, a farmstand stocked with summer produce.  I’ll have to make time to take that road again before I head home.

Instead of taking those pictures, I finish my visits, head over for my first night of work to meet the students I’ll be working with for the next week, and then come back to my friends’ house and snap some garden and cat pictures before the sun sets.

The flowers are obedient, standing quietly in the evening sun, not even shifting in the faint breeze.

blackeyedsusan

queenanneslace

barnandflowers

This being Maine in the summer, the mosquitoes are thick in the air and I quickly decide to move inside.  There I am met by Eddie and LaLa, who are not quite as eager to pose for me; but I catch them in their various acts anyway.

Eddie first:

eddieandflowers

eddieinmotion

and then LaLa:

lalainmotion

I’ll have to try to get them to sit still for me over the next few days!

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garden update

I think I mentioned something in an earlier post about the expansive container garden S has planted on our deck.  We’ve already had several wonderful salads, and the rosemary, mint, and thyme have added considerable flavor to a number of refreshing drinks.

Now that summer has arrived the garden is really thriving.

The lettuce is still growing

lettuce

and the peppers (3 different varieties so far) are starting to ripen as well.

pepper

peppers2

peppers3

The chives are flowering

chiveflwrs

and the basil is ready to harvest for pesto.

basil

Now, what to make for dinner?

spoons

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