Thursday, August 29, 2013


While out and about, I discovered three more little eggplants starting to grow.

I also discovered aphids on my eggplants.

The only thing I detest more than cabbage moths.

Doused the living daylights out of the eggplants with a dish soap/water/garlic powder spray.  A truly revolting combination, Palmolive and garlic powder.  I certainly hope it does the trick.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Heirloom Carrots

Scarlet Nantes and Jaune Obtuse du Doubs carrots - picked this morning.  :)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

New Discoveries

It was a busy morning.  R and I picked what will likely be the last batch of raspberries before R started mowing the lawn and whippersnipping around the property - a big job.  I watered everything and cut back some of the Butternut squash vines.  I also made a few discoveries....

Another little eggplant!  A Vittoria (hybrid) like the other one that's developing in the back yard.

Another tiny eggplant developing, and two blooms, on the same plant as the eggplant above.

The gomphrena I planted in the Spring was s-l-o-w to grow.  It is still only about 6 inches tall, and most of that growth happened in the last 2 or 3 weeks.  Today I noticed that several of them now have little pink centres where the flowers will bloom.  I'm looking forward to seeing these.  The seeds were like wispy, delicate confetti.

Some of the Speckled Algonquin beans.  They have pink mottling on the pods when they are mature.

Tene's beans.  These are so tall and heavy, they have completely keeled over the sides of the raised bed.  Yet another vegetable I should have staked.  They are all pale green.

Another Butternut squash spotted today.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sweet Siberian Melon

I picked the Sweet Siberian melon yesterday afternoon to try.  From pictures I have seen, the flesh is supposed to be a brighter yellow than our little one has.  Think I picked it too early.  It still tastes nice and is very juicy.  LOTS of seeds, too.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Winding Down

A sunny, breezy day.  It was 7 degrees when I got up this morning.  The days are getting shorter (it's no longer broad daylight at 4:30am!).  Things are growing more slowly than they were, and the flowers aren't snapping back as brightly as they did, even when dead-headed.  

I spent some time in the garden yesterday pulling out cabbage plants that hadn't formed heads, the stalks of the broccoli plants, and more nasturtiums that were crowding the tomatoes.

Some pictures taken today...

One container of Swiss Giant Pansies.  They are pretty, but not lasting long.  I'm dead-heading them twice a day now.  On the positive side, they will be very easy to collect seeds from for next summer.

One of several pots of sage I placed among the brassicas in an attempt to keep the cabbage moths away.  It didn't work.  The sage didn't grow very large this year.  They seem to like the heat, in which case this was not the summer for them.  I'll bring them inside at the end of September to overwinter.

The lettuce, which bolted earlier this month, was composted yesterday.  Leeks, summer savoury, a few golden beets, and "Perpetual Spinach" that I can't uproot remain in the beds.

The sunflowers are starting to droop.  The bees still enjoy them, though.  :)

The South garden with the broccoli, cauliflower, and most of the cabbage stalks cleared out.

What's left of the pea patch (those are leeks in the bottom corner).  We picked the very last batch yesterday.  There were enough good peas for two meals, but the vast majority will be next year's seed.

This is one of the Butternut squash from the plants R's brother gave us.  It's tiny yet, only about 3 inches long.  I pollinated 3 others but if they "took", I cannot find them in the mass of vines and leaves.  I doubt this will be able to fully develop before we have a hard frost, but you never know.  Fingers crossed.

The view from the end of the driveway.

Parsnips (pointy leaves) vying for room beside Tene's beans (heart-shaped leaves).  The lilypad-shaped leaves on the right are the Butternut squash in the next raised bed.

Two Casper eggplants.  They have a few purple blossoms on them, so I am hoping one might produce an eggplant before the end of the season.

Two tiny little jalapeno peppers wondering what the hell they are doing in the Artic instead of Mexico.  I chuckled when I discovered them yesterday.  More victims of a cool, rainy summer.  Poor little guys.

A Vittoria eggplant (right) and a Casper eggplant (left).  Both have blossoms on them, but no sign of eggplants yet.

Some Cole tomatoes and basil going to seed.

I love the Scarlet Flax.  I will grow this again next summer!

Our attempt to stake the Black Krims, Opalkas, Great Whites, and Emerald Greens.  All are large paste (Opalka) or beefsteak type tomatoes.  With the exception of the Great White, I didn't realize they were going to get so large and heavy.  The cages and bamboo stakes weren't enough, so R. jammed some boards under them.  It's still not ideal, but it's the best we can do this late in the season.

Some of the Opalka paste tomatoes are as long as my hand.

Black Krims

Some of the Great Whites are huge.  I really hope they ripen.  I would love to save the seeds from this one.

Could this be an eggplant forming on the Vittoria variety?  *Cue the Hallelujah chorus!*

Two new melons have finally set!  In the Spring, I planted Cream of Saskatchewan and Sweet Siberian seeds.  I wasn't sure which variety grew, but now I am pretty sure they are Sweet Siberians.  We'll know once we cut the large (I use that term loosely) one open, as the flesh of Sweet Siberians is yellow. Cream of Saskatchewans have creamy white flesh.

Rogue potatoes still doing well in the compost bins.

The corn is coming along...

Drying seeds in the plant room:  peas, nasturtiums, Cole tomatoes, and calendula.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Purple Chaos and A Tasty Dish

I finally used one of our red cabbages today.  The recipe below is slightly altered from the original on, which can be found HERE.  Apparently, it freezes well, which is one of the reasons I decided to try it.  If you enjoy sauerkraut, you’ll probably enjoy this.  It would be delicious with sausage.

The recipe is easy, though by the time I finished shredding the cabbage in my cheapie food processor, there were sticky purple bits everywhere…the counter, the floor, my hair, my coffee, the sink, the stove top, the wall.   R. heard me chopping, walked into the kitchen, and announced, “Massacre!”   It did indeed look like a vegetable crime scene.  It was worth it, though.  This dish is quite tasty and would make a nice gift bottled in a pretty mason jar.

Red Cabbage  (sweet and sour cooked red cabbage) 

  •  3/4 cup water 
  • 1 small head red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3 apples - peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Directions:  Place water in a large saucepan, and stir in cabbage, apples, brown sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cover. Simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender.   Add butter in last 15 minutes of cooking.

Simmering on the stove.

Yum!  (And yes, R. does think I am extremely weird for photographing food.  Especially cabbage.)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Trying Something New

Kohlrabi was one of my gardening experiments this summer.  I had never grown or tasted it before.  I grew Purple Vienna kohlrabi, having received seeds as a gift from my friend, Sharon, in Manitoba.  

Two were big enough to harvest today (about 2 inches across).  I took a knife outside with me, thinking it would be similar to harvesting cabbage.  Not so. The main stem is as big around as my index finger and tough - I couldn't cut it with a knife.  The root system is also surprisingly large.  After a few heave-ho's, they finally came out of the ground.

When I told R. I couldn't cut the stem with a large knife, he said he had an idea, then disappeared into the house.  He emerged with one of his more interesting sharp objects (he is a gamer), a small throwing axe.  Very Lord of The Rings.  It sure did the trick!

Karl decided to check out the kohlrabi when I set it down on the rock...

I brought it inside, stored one in the fridge, and peeled and sliced the other.  It has the smell and taste of mild turnip, and is a pale cream colour - light green just under the skin.  I love the texture. It is crispy and gives a satisfying snap when you bite into it.  It would taste nice with a sour cream and herb dip.  Baked would be nice, too.  I think that would mellow the flavour somewhat and make it even sweeter.

The crab apple tree has produced an abundance of round, healthy-looking apples this year, thanks to all the rain.  We usually give the apples away to people who make preserves, as we don't process them ourselves. 

The last two green cabbage.  I harvested them small to save them from the worms.  One more cabbage casserole, coming up! 

A very large spider that has set up digs between the compost bins in the back yard.  R. snapped this picture.  The body is as large as the top segment of my thumb.  *shudder*  I am so glad he spotted it first and mentioned it.  Discovering it myself when going to compost kitchen scraps early in the morning would have been ugly.


A few yellow cherry and Cole tomatoes, picked this morning.  They are just starting to ripen.  A few were eaten fresh, and the rest went into the slow cooker with some Italian sausage and onions. 

I have discovered over the last few weeks that several of the tomatoes I've planted are not what - or where - I thought they were.  The raised bed in the driveway had, I believed, three Cole and three yellow cherry tomato plants.  They are indeterminate, so I could not understand why they were so crowded and sprawling.  Then I spotted some small pointy tomatoes in the bunch.  Uh-oh... Opalka paste tomatoes.  Two of these are among the cherries and Coles.  They were never pinched off or trained up a stake, so they are currently climbing over the other plants, squashing them.   Trying to stake them now would result in several of the branches snapping.  Hmm.  Either I walked in my sleep this past Spring and swapped the labels on my seedlings for subconscious giggles, or else things were mixed up when I "potted up" the seedlings.  In any case, next year I will grow fewer varieties and label them with permanent marker!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Trading Goodies

R's brother dropped by this morning with our nieces for a visit.  He was kind enough to bring us some cucumbers and zucchini, and we gave him some cabbage, chard, herbs, beets, and peas.  It's nice to have someone to share produce with!  

The zucchini is in the dehydrator and we just finished blanching another 13 lbs of peas.  This will likely be the last big pea harvest, as the plants are looking worse for wear from all the rain we've had, and the resulting slugs. 

Our multi-faced surprise sunflower in the potato patch.

The flower bed - lots of Rose Mallow now.

Cole tomatoes

R. in the pea patch.

The 4th dahlia plant has finally produced a flower.  Very pretty!

Sunspot sunflowers

Great White tomatoes

Several pumpkins have set!

(A close-up)

Another pumpkin!

Yellow cherry tomatoes