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Fresh Raspberries in October

October 10th, 2018

This past weekend I harvested my first berries from the ‘Caroline’ canes I got from Nourse Farms last year. Caroline is described by Nourse as “this raspberry has a larger berry than Heritage and is more productive, with a rich, full, and intense raspberry flavor. It is a very vigorous variety, with more tolerance for root rot than Heritage. The farther south you grow it, the earlier it will ripen. Caroline is widely adapted, growing everywhere from the East Coast to the West Coast. This variety does not tolerate high heat and drought.”

The deer browsed them heavily this past winter and we had a hot, dry summer, so I was worried I wouldn’t get any berries at all. It looks as if we will get a decent little harvest this fall. I really wanted a raspberry that produced in the fall so it was ripe when the rest of the garden was waning. These are perfect and are coming on just as the summer garden bounty is drawing to a close. We’ve enjoyed every single berry and look forward to harvests for years to come.

Do you grow raspberries in your garden? Any favorite varieties to recommend?

Compost Pile Harvest

September 18th, 2018

I haven’t planted any potatoes for the past couple years, but I’ve still been harvesting them from the compost pile. This year, I’ve harvested about 30 pounds so far of all colors, shapes, sizes from the compost pile.

Next year I hope to buy seed potatoes once again and have a spot in the garden dedicated to my favorite varieties. Potatoes are so inexpensive to buy at the farmers market that I quit growing them for a few years. It’s difficult to find fingerlings and ‘Purple Viking’ potatoes (which are my favorites) so I think I’ll start growing a few once again. Not many, just enough to eat new potatoes and fresh in the fall/early winter, as I can fill in with the ones from the market during the winter and spring.

Do you grow potatoes? What’s your favorite variety?

Peppers to Dry

September 5th, 2018

This year I grew two new varieties of peppers just for drying. We’ve eaten a few of them fresh, but they are two varieties specifically developed to dry. One is ‘Red Ember’ and the other ‘El Eden’, both from Johnny’s Seeds.


Since I only have one plant of each, I’m not keeping them separate. Both are getting trimmed and dried with plans to grind them into pepper powder. Neither pepper is very hot, so I’m hoping that mixing them will be a nice chili powder to use in the kitchen. So far, I’m pleased with both varieties and will continue to grow them each summer.

Do you grow any items to make spices from?

Tomatoes….

September 4th, 2018

I always plant a lot of tomatoes, mostly because we LOVE tomatoes. There are always cherry tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, drying tomatoes, canning tomatoes, and roma type tomatoes. They come in all colors, shapes, and sizes and we eat them with glutenous abandon for the two months they are in their prime. The ones we can’t eat fresh, are dried, roasted, canned, and turned into soups, sauces, and paste.

One of our favorite ways to preserve tomatoes is to roast them. I discovered the delicious jammy intensity of roasted tomatoes years ago when I made Roasted Tomato Passata from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook. Some of the batches of roasted tomatoes we put through a food mill, but many of them dont’ make it that far. We layer these tasty treat on toast in the morning. These also freeze well and can be used in frittatas and other recipes straight out of the freezer.

What garden bounty are you preserving this week?

Harvest, Harvest, Harvest, Repeat

August 8th, 2018

This time of year it seems the harvesting starting in full swing. Not only are all the summer vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers starting to produce in large quantities, the long term storage vegetables are ready to harvest as well. Over the past two weeks I’ve been slowly harvesting my garlic and onions.

This time of year we start getting more rain, so I’m always watching the weather to determine when I harvest these root vegetables. They definitely store best when they’re harvested after a dry spell. That means that sometimes they’re harvested a week or two early to avoid being drenched with an inch of rain during a summer thunderstorm. In fact, my garlic was harvested two weeks early because they were predicting a few weeks with lots of rain.

What are you harvesting this week?

Seeds and Sundries
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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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