Sunday, September 15, 2013

Apple season more fruitful than last year

This season is much better than last year for locally grown apples. Here's an article in The Oakland Press with a list of orchards and cider mills in the area.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Harvest time and time to replant

It's a bittersweet time of year for those who love summer and gardening. With fall sweeping in to replace it, there's cause for nostalgia.
Remember how tall that sunflower got this year?
It's also a good time to take a few notes on how the summer growing season transpired. This year goes down as the wettest in my recorded history. It was too much rain for many crops. I'm not sure if that's what killed my tomato plants but several people I talked to, had the same experience.
My green beans rebounded from the rains of July and are in their second coming, producing aplenty. I've frozen all I think we could ever use and am tired of picking them, due to the back ache. I've been rushing through the row to pick, instead of squatting or kneeling and reaching, which would be better.
The snakes are active this time of year and I don't enjoy their surprise appearances.

But wait, maybe the growing season can be extended. A friend said he plants spinach, lettuce and peas in a cold frame, for a late fall harvest. I am clearing out the dead tomato patch today to set that up. I will use the same quick cold frame with cinder blocks that my daughters used in the spring for our tomatoes. Maybe I can prop up one side, because they said it should be slanted, towards the South. It's a good thing they helped us get the tomatoes started early or we wouldn't have had any at all. We'll do that again next Spring.
I'm hoping our Swiss chard will keep growing through October, like it has in years past. Kale and parsley are also plants that will keep growing in fall, without a cold frame.
 Although I won't get as ambitious, here's an article about planting in the fall for next year.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

It's harvest time in Michigan

It's harvest time, enjoy the bounty. Here's a link to a list of area farmers markets:

Blake's Fresh Salsa 
Combine the following and chill covered for 1/2 hour. 
2-3 cups chopped Roma tomatoes (when canning salsa, blanch and de-skin the tomatoes.)
½ cup red onion 
½ cup green pepper 
1 Jalapeno, 1 green chili and 1 Poblano or whatever you can find, (Use one Jalapeno pepper per two tomatoes, more or less.)
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
¾ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. white vinegar or lime or lemon juice
2 pinches finely chopped cilantro