Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The End of Summer - or is it Fall?

The days are cooling, a little early for me. The spiders are appearing everywhere, making their webs wherever they know I'm going to pass. Geese, although I haven't seen them flying south yet, are starting to gather together in larger flocks. The snow level is low enough in the mountains (6,000 feet) that the news is warning hikers. Fall colors are starting to tease - the vine maples are blushing a bit and smaller trees are fading to yellow, although it may be from the heat a couple of weeks ago. And the rain has started.

The apple trees are bending under their loads. I think this weekend my earliest variety will be ready, two weeks later than last year. I'm trying to hold off as long as possible as the apples I've tasted are a little sour yet. Thing 2 can hardly wait for the first apple pie of the season.

I'm hoping that we'll have an "Indian Summer" so all my tomatoes will ripen up. I have them under a clear plastic tarp to keep the rain off, the heat in, and hopefully keep late blight at bay. There are lots of tomatoes, but they're all green, even my early variety.

My corn is just now tasseling, and although it's only a little behind all the corn in the nearby fields, it's pretty stubby looking, barely four feet tall. I think I'm going to leave growing corn for the "experts". I have failed as a decendant of Iowa corn farmers! :(

Although the parsnips didn't germinate well, I have turnips galore. The spinach is growing well, too, and I'm ready to start adding it to my salads. I have a lot of cabbage to figure out something to do with! I need to also get all of the potatoes out of the ground. I was hoping to do this while the ground was dry, but it's been raining so much, that hasn't happened, and the dratted rodents are still nibbling away at my crop.

My friend, J, wants to learn how to can. Although I'm no expert, I will love having someone else in the kitchen to help. I think canning is best done with two people! She wants to make apple butter, and since I have lots of apples, I think a batch of apple butter, and two of spiced pear apple butter are in order.

1 comment:

Sinfonian said...

Hi there, I followed you from PTF in SoCal back up to Western WA where I live. Not quite sure where you are specifically because in Mountlake Terrace, our early tomatoes are ripening and our mid-season want to. That and I think I missed my window of opportunity to pick my corn and now it's compost. Can you tell I'm a first-year gardener? hehe.

Anyway, I had to comment that I read today that if you don't have your tomatoes ripen before the first frost, pull the whole plant right before the frost and hang it upside down in a shed or garage. Over the following 2 months all the tomatoes will ripen and you can harvest tomatoes into December.

I always love "meeting" local gardeners.

Lastly, we just had the first apple pie of the season from a friend of my brother's. He brought bags of apples and we made a pie and a pastry. The rest were frozen for future pastries.

We're also learning to can from our mother. So far we've done a batch of pickles. It was fun. Though my 130 SF garden doesnt' produce enough to reliably eat daily from it, let alone preserving. Next year maybe...

We're also hoping for an "Indian Summer". On my blog I've got my brother's rationale for why one will happen, but who knows.

Anyway, long post just to say hi. Hope your garden grows strong!