Over the last two weeks we have been bringing in the fall harvest. Wow, that sounds like I farm or something. Not at all, it is just a little harvest from my modest garden. We will also have an ongoing winter harvest, but I will get to that later.
As usual, I have way to many green tomatoes. Some of them will ripen on the counter. The rest will have to be canned in one way or another. There are also lots and lots of hot peppers. I have agreed to trade some of those peppers for handmade soap. I am grateful to have met a good many talented people in my life and Sylett, the soap maker, is one of them. She is warm, talented, wicked smart and has the most amazing speaking voice I have ever heard. Anyway, I get some soap, she gets some heat.
The remaining peppers are being put up in various ways. Some are being processed in brine, some dehydrated and powdered some pickled. The unripenable tomatoes are being pickled (both sweet and dill) and some made into jam. I have had one request for pepper jelly, which is so easy it is almost cheating. Well it is cheating, but who's going to tell.
We also have a small harvest of potatoes, one pumpkin, one acorn squash and two tiny Hubbard squash.
Over the winter we will bring in broccoli, collards, Swiss chard, carrots, beats, cabbage, snow peas, etc... I love my winter garden. It is like have a green grocer in the backyard.
I have discovered the joys of bartering - fresh eggs and soap are just the beginning. I'm also going to hunt down some honey. Gone are the days where I give everything away for free. I believe everyone has something to trade.
Two nights ago, it dropped below 30 and my warm weather plants are all melted. Really, they look melted. My beautiful zinnias are no longer pink, orange, white and red. They are now just brown and limp. The tomatoes and peppers appear to have been hit with a blow torch. It is funny how some things previously frozen often look burnt - freezer burn?
I have a slight earache right now, so I am going to leave the mess until it either warms up or my ear feels better. Hope the neighbors don't mind the mess. Shouldn't be a problem as I can pay them off with pickled peppers and green tomatoes. The kitchen table is covered in hot peppers and green tomatoes. There is plenty to go around.
If anyone has green tomato recipes they would like to share, I would love to have them. See, I didn't beg this year. Well, not yet anyway:)
The fall garden is producing amazing amounts of veggies. I have tons of peppers, broccoli and greens. There is way more coming in than our family can eat. I've been offering it up for free to anyone who will come pick it up. A couple of days ago, a facebook friend offered to trade me fresh eggs from her hens for broccoli. I gave her two bags of veggies and she gave me sixteen brown, pink and green eggs. I am going to make a Thanksgiving breakfast feast featuring those eggs.