Fall Garden’s Last Gasp

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Our fall weather is definitely here. And the garden knows it. We are down to one tomato plant and it isn’t producing much. The nights are just too chilly and the days aren’t warm enough to compensate. I do still have two basil plants and a robust crop of garlic.

The garlic was a surprise – the plants are growing from the bulbs I missed when I harvested in early summer. We will let the bulbs grow over the winter, divide them in the spring and harvest them in early summer. This will be the first time I will be overwintering anything and I’m a little bit excited. Garden nerd alert.

While my garden is limping to the finish, my dad’s garden is flourishing. A couple of weeks ago, we had my parents over for dinner and they brought us a beautiful selection of eggplant and red bell peppers from their garden. I couldn’t resist taking few pictures. I took a shot of the biggest pepper in my hand, for scale. Dad said he brought me the largest pepper he had ever grown. I am honored. And there is absolutely no hidden sarcasm in that. I know how hard it is to battle the critters for the ripening peppers.

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I am having a good time using up the beautiful garden bounty. We sautéed the smaller eggplant for pasta. One of the big ones became what we call eggplant croutons – diced, tossed with egg and bread crumbs and baked until crispy. Perfect on top of pasta or just to eat hot out of the oven. The last big one is destined to be roasted and mixed with roasted garlic to make dip for bread. The peppers will all be roasted and frozen to wait for red pepper soup or to become part of tacos. Oh, the garden riches!

What are your favorite fall vegetables right now?

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4 thoughts on “Fall Garden’s Last Gasp

  1. total garden nerd alert: i love you right now. 🙂 i’ve been neglecting my own garden, and i need to get out there and figure out how to go about the rest of the season. probably lots of pesto in my future, i’ll say that for sure. and a little ancho pepper action.

    • Right back at you, Shannon! You grew ancho chilies!? I am so impressed. I didn’t even try peppers this year – I fought the rabbits just for the plants last year. Though we have fewer rabbits this year – our neighbor has seen a coyote and I think he likes rabbits. 🙂

      I wish I could claim the peppers and eggplant as my own, but they were all from my dad’s garden. We had tomatoes, basil and garlic and that was it. Next year I really am going to do lettuce and spinach in the spring! After I build a rabbit fence around my little garden. I am determined to make my little 8 by 4 plot produce more next year!

  2. Sarah,
    That is a huge pepper! Pretty cool to have gardening parents, amIright?
    To be honest, I am so sick of canning tomato-related products that I had the kids pull all the plants last weekend. After yet another batch of sauce (I know, first world problems to complain about having too much garden tomatoes, I’ll shut up in January) and very little room in the bottom of the pantry where the jars are 2-3 high, I still have the top of the dog crate covered with ripening tomatoes!
    It was very satisfying to take one of the newly empty garden beds, dig in a layer of shredded leaves and compost, and plant next year’s garlic crop. I still have to harvest the basil and celery beds, and tuck them in with leaves and compost, but I need a bit more room in the freezer first.

    Love the idea of eggplant croutons!

    • We are supposed to get our first frost this week. I was contemplating covering the last tomato plant, and I probably will. But it will only be postponing the inevitable, I know. I am looking forward to putting it all to bed for the winter. It looks so clean and neat.

      Kudos on all your canning! I have my jams and peach butter, and I have my frozen pesto and tomato sauce, but that’s it. I bow to your canning prowess!

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