Halloween and Garden End

There is a frost coming tonight and we’ll have frosts and freezes for the next 5 days, so today is the day to pull up the garden. I harvested all of the remaining peppers, tomatillos, beets, red onions, and a few odds and ends.

Final major harvest of the year.

I left the Celery root in as that is supposed to improve in flavor after frosts. There is still some kale and swiss chard. Of course, there are a lot of herbs. There is also a lot of mint, but I don’t remember how that handles frost. I’ll find out soon. I should probably freeze some of that for “weed water” and tea.

There are lots of green tomatoes, and green cherry tomatoes, but there is nothing I can do with them.

The Garden in Mid October

The mint garden has really done well. The cucumbers are done for the year, though.

We’ve had about 4 inches of rain the past week, but temperatures have remained warm. Fall is late this year. Usually, we are at peak color by now, but the trees are just starting to turn.

Most of the heirloom tomatoes are done, but the Early Girl II and the Champions still have a bit of life left. They probably would have done much better if I had watered them a lot more. I will probably cut back on heirlooms a bit next year and plant a few more hybrids.

There are still tomatillos coming. I gave most of them to RT and one bunch to Fr. Rodolfo, I just haven’t had time to use them.

Cucumbers are done. The lemon ones did poorly. They produced nice plants with lots of blossoms, but little fruit ripened. I got them in about a month late, which was likely the problem. We had a good crop of zucchini. The first two hills are dead, but the one I planted later is still green.

Cherry tomatoes by the deck and in the container garden are still producing. They benefitted greatly from the liquid fertilizer and adequate watering.

Cherry tomatoes are still doing well. I think the watering and fertilizing made all of the difference. The potted patio tomato is still doing very well.

Peppers are all still doing well and I need to freeze some as most are turning red.

I still have beets to be pulled and the celery root looks like it will have some nice usable roots. I think it will need more room next year. The parsley that I planted late is really nice, I think I might freeze some. It’s probably time to start using the kale and swiss chard, too.

Looking from mid-garden toward the house. Everything is starting to wind down.
The mint is spreading at an alarming rate. I’ve been too busy to use much of it though.

I am extremely happy with the way the mint garden turned out, even though I didn’t use much of the mint. I am hoping that there will still be time to do some taste testing.

Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients for Roasted Tomato Soup in the pan and ready to be roasted in the oven.

The garden is starting to wind down. I’ve been giving away the more perfect tomatoes and had a bunch that was bruised, cracked, or had other bad spots, so it was soup time. This is the second batch this season. My friend Danielle had this recipe on her blog and it is simplicity itself. This is my slightly modified version of the recipe.

8-10 medium sized tomatoes quartered
1 onion quartered
5 whole cloves of garlic skins removed
1 large roughly chopped sweet red pepper
1 roughly chopped hot pepper (if desired)
A bunch of fresh sage leaves (about 20 leaves)
Fresh or dried thyme and/or oregano to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

Put them all in an oven-safe pan and rub with the olive oil until coated. Then roast them at 425°F for 25 or 30 minutes until the tomatoes start giving up their juice and the onions start browning.

While the vegetables are roasting, cook some pasta. The original recipe called for tortellini, but I used 8 oz. (dry) of whole wheat macaroni.

When the vegetables have been roasted, add a cup of milk and a cup or more of grated sharp cheddar cheese and puree with an immersion blender. Adjust the seasoning to your taste and add the cooked pasta. Serve with chopped basil on top.