Monday, October 19, 2015

October homes and gardens

There are more issues to take up in this nine day Food Day blitz, but once in a while it's good just to have a report from the garden. Things are quite sad these days; the effects of the drought are obvious. There is only so much that judicious watering can do;  then there comes a point where plants cry out for real rain. At the same time, we have had only a couple of nights as low as the high forties, and continue to have short heat waves. Blessedly the forecast this week has been modified - no 90F days, in the offing. But the upshot of this is that the visibly tired bean teepees keep blooming, and the summer squashes keep pumping out more fruit.

At a celebration on Saturday I managed to avoid the potluck sides that had zucchini in them, only to discover that the vegetable enchiladas were stuffed with - zucchini! I've been eating summer squash for breakfast (diced golden pattypan sauteed in butter with an egg scrambled in), lunch and dinner.
I have made both of my favorite zucchini bread recipes (one chocolate and one that looks like it would be good for you and probably is) and more than once tried a new one, zucchini coconut being my favorite. I don't need to make another batch of zucchini pickle relish, so this evening I tried a good looking recipe for refrigerator zucchini bread and butter pickles. I've got one more recipe to try. And I am thankful that friends actually seemed to want my surplus summer squash this year.

Keeping up with the Cucurbita pepos, the Sunshine winter squash is putting out a third flush of fruit. I planted three winter varieties this year, but Sunshine remains the most productive and really the best keeper. The scorecard on all the winter squashes so far is Phina 12, Gophers 5, Vandals 1. The second flush of Sunshines took the biggest Gopher hit, but there are three more on the vines which just may be pickable before the return of the Vandals for their Hallowe'en supply.

Chard starts are coming along for late fall and over winter, fava beans will go in this month and garlic next. Meanwhile, cleaning up and composting and mulching will keep me out of trouble when I am not writing or attending food system related meetings and events. More on this week's crop of meetings later.

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