Saturday, September 24, 2011

End of September Round Up

We had an offer of horse manure a few weeks ago so off to Blandford!... driving up, up, up to a beautiful farm with a view for miles and miles and miles, where we could see as far away as Ironbound and Tancook. Truly splendid!
The Contributors, Sheila and Frosty
It's a great gift, receiving composted goodness for the garden, and appreciated very much. Some, we dug by hand but the rest was loaded by tractor..... a team effort for sure. The ladies supervised  ;-)
It's that time of year when my thoughts are turning to next year's garden. I listen and talk, as I walk and harvest. "Why didn't you taste better" I asked the tomatoes. "Too much rain" they said back. Yes..too much rain. I didn't know it would water down the flavor, but it makes perfect sense. The paste tomatoes and the cherry tomatoes didn't seem too affected but some of the heirlooms were.
Mexico Midget, Black Cherry and Sun Gold tomatoes with Fortex Beans
Speaking of  cherry tomatoes, we are barely keeping up with eating them fresh, but I have been slicing them in half, tossing with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and roasting in a single layer (shallow dish) for twenty minutes at 400 f oven.  Quite a lovely lovely dish served with crusty bread and a bit of basil. Adding some garlic wouldn't hurt either, now that I think of it. The tomatoes should still have their shape, but soft inside.

Inside the cottage garden, the veg love is resting, mostly, waiting to be harvested and preserved, or eaten.  Highlights, along with Verbena Bonariensis and spilling nasturtium, include Amaranthus grown from a spring planted, variety pack. Months ago it didn't look as if  it would turn into much. Come September though, it has the most beautiful tassels and as far as I know, all Amaranthus are edible. The Goldfinch and even the Junco's hang from the stems eating the miniscule seeds of this plant commonly called Love Lies Bleeding.
There is one rather exciting triumph in the garden. Back on the bean wall, where we trellised tomatoes this year, a few beans, cucumbers and one Trombocino squash for the first time...well I don't know which I love more about this squash...the leaves reaching for the sky, shadows dancing in the sun....
....or the outstanding fruit of the vine which hangs rather frighteningly from the supports. This is edible, but the jury is out on the taste...some say great, others say yuk! I grew it mostly as a novelty, something I rarely do, but it makes me smile. How big will it grow?????
So that's a bit of a roundup in the garden. Still lots to eat for a family of two, sometimes four..... beet greens, beets, chard, summer squash, last of the beans, kale, leeks, last of tomatoes, a few baby eggplant, cabbage, potatoes and fingers crossed, maybe some Brussels sprouts. That's another story.  Arugula, mache and spinach were planted a week or so ago and  have germinated; so, late season salads will soon be on the menu.


  1. I haven't yet tried roasting my cherry tomatoes, but it sounds delicious. Your squash leaf in the sunlight makes a beautiful picture, as does the Love Lies Bleeding. One of these days I would love to see you do a post on the design of your vegetable garden. I need some ideas on how better to support runner beans and tomato plants in particular. The trellised wall in the last image looks intriguing.

  2. The garden contributors are beautiful. Love the picture of the plate of cherry tomatoes. Roasting them is a great idea. I wish my vegetable garden was a fourth as productive as yours!

  3. Very wise to grow that trombocino UP a support. I've heard they can take over your garden!

  4. Dear Bren, The horse farm sounds beautiful and how wonderful to have such rich manure for your garden. Speaking of which . . . what a bounty and your photographs are wonderful too. Love those cherry tomatoes . . . roasted with potatoes -yummy! Though I mostly pop them into my mouth like candy. ;>)

  5. What a wonderful day that must have been. A farm. Horse manure. The freshness. Lucky you. If I can sneak out of the store early today, I'm going down to the ocean to pick up seaweed and kelp. We had a winter storm yesterday, so there should be some on the beach, I hear it is the set thing for the garden.

    Also, your tomatoes are beautiful. I didn't grow cherry tomatoes this year. It's my first year veggie gardening. I'm 55, but better late than never. Next year for sure, and I'm going to keep your roasting info for them.

  6. Oh I like the Love Lies Bleeding - does it grow in sahde i wonder, because I have a space. And did you know that Wordsworth's House was called Rydal Mount. The same name as my house in Wiltshire.

  7. Thanks for the great and kind comments which are always so very much appreciated.

    Jennifer, so glad you enjoyed the photos (can't compare to yours), but since you posted, you have my brain churning over the design question. Now that's a post for sure, so please 'stand by', as the Captain sometimes says.

    Sweetbay..thought you would like the horse photo considering. Guess you get your share of good compost as well)))

    Mal, in days, the Trombocino has become huge..scary huge. It has gone up the trellis, across the trellis, down the trellis and heading for the asparagus bed as we speak... ;-)

    Carol, thank you for your kind comment re the photographs but you are to me, the queen of the photographs and from post to post, I can't wait for you to share yours, and your sensitive words and comments. Thank you.

    Erin..I am so pleased you found my blog, and so pleased to have made the connection with Sidney, after being there only a month and a half ago. Who knew! Amazing this is your first veg garden because you sure look to be doing everything so expertly. Gosh I do have a deep envy for that greenhouse though. . . and your coast.

    Mark, no one else has mentioned the Love Lies Bleeding Link, so I am pleased you found the poem. The fact that your House is called Rydal Mount, as is Wordsworth's...well now you know you MUST grow Love Lies Bleeding. Maybe in a deep pot (I'm thinking black ceramic glaze over terracotta) in full sun, as it doesn't do well in shade..but it will live, just not thrive.

    The tomato roasting seems to be a hit, and I didn't invent it of course...but just think it's a good and simple quick serving of a fine veg/fruit ). Easy peasy as they say.

  8. What a lovely post Brenda! Of course, being an animal lover, I love the picture of the horses! So pretty. The roasted tomato's sound so very good! Also, I thought your picture of the squash leaf is so creative and cool!

    Enjoy your harvest,

  9. hmm, I tried to comment but when I clicked it just disappeared into thin air? I suspect the new blogger interface is to blame. So I'll try again - I had no idea amaranthus was edible, perhaps I should wander out and nibble a leaf? But now I know why the birds are so keen on the particular garden bed.

  10. I love a good garden round up, great stuff Brenda. Wishing you a good weekend :-)

  11. Nice to meet you, thanks for the comment!
    I must start stocking up on horse manure now too!

    Commenting problems could be linked with the browser as well as blogger- I don't have problems with firefox