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Dear Friend and Gardener: Late Summer Harvest

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What gardener has not felt the subtle, slow shift as the inner world aligns itself with the outer, occurring in the midst of even the humblest task, thinning carrots or mulching melons?  

Patricia Monaghan

 

 

I have been feeling soulful this summer as I tended my veg garden.  Maybe because it was all I could do, and it was enough to weed, plant, pick and eat of the harvest.  It wasn’t a big harvest, but it was just right for us this summer.  Some successes, some failures and some surprises.  And I don’t feel bad about the failures because I learn so much more from them.

I am joining in with Dee Nash for her new virtual garden club called, Dear Friend and Gardener.  You can see the badge here and on my sidebar.  As Dee says about this new club:

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Carol Michel, Mary Ann Newcomer and I are starting a virtual garden club for everyone growing their own food, flowers or herbs this summer. It’s a fun club. There are no rules except if you grab the badge, please link it back to this page. Here, I will list everyone joining us for our summer adventure of growing our food, flowers and herbs. You are welcome to post once a month if you want. We’d love to see what you’re growing.

 

 

And I am linking in with Judith@Lavender Cottage who is hosting Mosaic Monday.  

 

 

Successes 

DSCN3487A great surprise was our tomatoes.  I grew 6 different varieties.  All planted in mid June, which is late, so they did not produce until late August.  The hybrid grape and cherry were still growing into late September until we pulled them due to the frost.  Even the heirlooms did fine.  And the tomatoes that our beastly deer ate, grew back and produced a bit.

 

 

 

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While we would have loved a bigger harvest, we were happy to get what we did.  And I made roasted tomatoes.  Some we froze and some we ate right away.  We also fried some green tomatoes.

 

 

 

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And the best recipe we tried was from my blogger friend Kathy Sturr who writes at Violet Fern.  Kathy is also a gifted artist and here is here wonderful watercolor recipe that was included at They Draw and Cook.  Super easy to make and oh so delicious.  You can see it cooking in the mosaic above in the last picture.  We froze some and ate some with pasta.  I look forward to some delicious surprises this winter when we thaw out the tomatoes we canned.

Also a big success was all the basil that grew.  The cinnamon (as pictured in the first picture in the post) and Italian basil made about 10 batches of pesto.  And we also froze some whole basil leaves and some chopped basil in ice cube trays with olive oil.  I couldn’t get over the huge size of the basil in the squash and tomato beds.  Some reaching 2 feet tall.

 

 

 

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Also successful were the squashes.  Our zucchini was not overly producing.  Just enough to eat weekly and we even made zucchini cakes much like potato latkes.  The Delicata squash were few as they were overwhelmed by the summer squash.  So we will make sure there is more room between the summer and winter squashes in the future so they can produce even more next year.  

 

 

 

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Other successes, early on in the garden, were the potatoes, onions, garlic, okra, beets, carrots, lettuces, radishes, Swiss chard and peas.

 

 

 

Failures

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We had a couple of peppers, a few beans and cukes enough to make 2 jars of dill pickles.  The voles took the okra and beans eventually, and the cool weather, we had this summer, took the peppers and cukes.   You can see the purple stems of the okra growing behind the flowering hibiscus before the voles mowed them down.  The eggplant were planted in June and never had enough warm weather to set up and flower.  

 

 

 

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Other failures were the watermelons and pumpkins.  Watermelon seed grew and flowered, but only produced one (finally growing) as the basil grew so big this year they grew right into the melons and kept the melon flowers hidden from the pollinators.  Once we removed the basil, and had a stretch of warm to hot weather in late September, the melons flowered and we now have one we hope will grow fast and make for a yummy fall treat.  What a surprise.

And I finally learned how to pollinate the watermelons by hand as it is a bit tricky so I can help them along next year if I need to.

The pumpkins were started too late and they did not produce.  But a volunteer plant that grew in front of the bed has produced one pumpkin.  That was another great surprise.

 

 

 

In A Vase On Monday

Part of the harvest this summer has been the flowers in the garden.  And I continue to find wonderful flowers and foliage to add to vases and grace our indoor living space.  

I am joining Cathy@Rambling in the Garden for her meme, In a Vase on Monday today.  I am also linking in with Today’s Flowers hosted by Denise@An English Girl Rambles.  

So this week what has been catching my eye that I would love to add to a couple of vases.  Asters of all sizes and colors are everywhere.  And yellow helianthus is making a buzz too.  I also saw some seedheads of Queen Anne’s Lace nearby that I really liked.  I have used QAL in several vases… from blooms, to foliage to seeds….. and I find it is spectacular in an arrangement.  Lastly I saw the bright pink of the sedum blooming and that was a must have for a vase.  

So here are the vases this week:

 

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Vase one is filled with white and purple asters, helianthus and QAL seedheads.  As soon as I brought it outside, the bees were back buzzing around it.

 

 

 

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A few more views close up and from afar.

 

 

 

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The second vase is filled with pinky and almost white tall asters, both colors naturally occurring here.  And the sedum flowers really do add some pop.

 

 

 

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A few more views of the sedum vase.

So there you have some fun, frilly and fall vases all part of the harvest from my garden.  They almost look like I found them growing together in my garden bed and plucked them for a vase…and in the case of vase one I did!

 

 

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A true kitchen garden opens your senses in new and inspiring ways, both in the garden and in the kitchen.  ~Ellen Ecker Ogden

 

 

 

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Visit my new blog: 

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I wanted to thank all the wonderful people who have been visiting me at my new blog, Living From Happiness.  It is a blog that celebrates life, lessons, change, challenges and creativity.

I have been posting for two months now on Sundays and Thursdays.I do hope you will join me there to read my musings about life, some original poetry and photography.

There will be a new post again this Thursday.

 

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Next up on the blog:  Wednesday
I will have another Wildlife post.  And Monday will be time for another Garden Journal as I review the September garden.  

I am also joining in I Heart Macro with Laura@Shine The Divine that happens every Saturday.

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All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2014.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.