Saturday, October 15, 2011

Growing, Blooming, Picking, Baking

It's Garden Blogger's Bloom Day, hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.  Lots going on here in zone 6A this time of year -- so much that it's hard to give anything the attention it deserves.  There are still vegetables to be harvested, and flowers to scope out, apples to pick and ... we're finally in the mood to bake!  Forgive me, but I'm combining 4 posts in one today.

First the Growing:

Peas - "Sugar Ann" is a variety of snap pea that has a very short time to harvest - only 50 days.  These were planted around mid-August.  Although they're not supposed to need trellising, I think it could have helped.  It was nice to have some fall peas, since I neglected to plant them in the spring.

It took a while to get going, but the radicchio was finally harvested. I cut it in half, brushed it with bacon grease, grilled it and topped it with balsamic vinegar.  So good!

The Butternut Squash that grew in the backyard didn't grow to a very impressive size, but it was delicious,
filled with beets and topped with brown sugar and butter, then roasted.

Most of the lettuce seeds I sowed in August were washed away by hurricane Irene- I got one nice harvest though.

Front door - I've got Autumn Joy and red geraniums in pots,  some volunteer nasturtium growing between the steps.  The container has Cuban oregano, creeping thyme, oxalis, lavendar, and I've forgotten the name of the plant with the purple veined leaves (please remind me if you know!)

Pentas and petunias still going strong in an old BBQ grill that I converted to a planter.  Zinnas still standing strong.

Here are the 3rd generation French Marigolds -- I'll be collecting these seeds again for sure.  Nothing looks better this time of year.

Apple Picking
We've had lots of stunningly gorgeous sunny fall days, aso we took advantage of it and made two apple picking trips this year, to our local spots,  Dr. Davies Farm with our friends Kelly, Aiden and Robby, and to Orchards of Concklin with our cousins. 

The kids peeled the apples, and my sister-in-law Janine put together an awesome apple crisp.  Thanks to Cindy F. from our Working Moms group for the recipe.

Apple Crisp
6 cups peeled sliced cooking apples
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup butter

Put apples in square baking dish. Combine the next 5 ingredients in a bowl.
Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over
the apples. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until apples are your favorite
consistency. Serve warm with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream.


Hey, I saved a whole bunch of "Minnesota Midget" heirloom cantaloupe seeds - they were lots of fun to grow.  If you'd like some, just send your address to me at  While supplies last, of course.


Nell Jean said...

Fun post, tasty treats, cute kids. I took Pentas cuttings today for the winter inside.

bookworm said...

I wonder if your purple plant is a "Purple Knight" alternathera. Hard to say. I love your chickens, too. I owned chickens years ago when I lived in Arkansas (I live in the Binghamton area now)and they gave us eggs and hours of enjoyment. Happy GBBD.

garden girl said...

I think the purple plant is Persian Shield. I've overwintered one for three or four years. Love that foliage!

Yum, your beet-stuffed squash looks beautiful and delicious, and I like the sound of the grilled radicchio too.

What a fun-filled post. Apple picking and apple crisp - great way to spend the day, and delicious treat!

David said...

Whoa! You have quite a blog filled with all kinds of goodies. So glad to find another 'chicken' person out there. Those apples on the ground are fascinating to someone down here in the South. I've never picked an apple from a tree in all my life. Sure looks fun.
I love your garden. I used to have an 1,200 sq ft organic garden back in the 1980s. Now I have all shade except for a small part by the front drive. Nice to see such a fine garden. Your chickens look delightful. I'm putting you on my garden favorites so that I can read more about your garden and chickens. Happy Growing! David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston

Laura @ HV Garden Journal said...

I want to make that stuffed squash RIGHT NOW!

Ewa said...

I think, this opening photo is amazing. Tree body, roots and apples - so symbolic. wow.

HolleyGarden said...

Love the fallen apple picture. And how fun to go apple picking! But especially fun to eat that apple crisp! Yum!

The Home Tome said...

Haven't made it out apple picking yet this season, but when I do, I'm going to make that apple crisp! And that radicchio is gorgeous. Great post, Bravo!

Veggie PAK said...

The kids look like they were having a good time. That's wonderful! That butternut squash recipe sounds very good!

tina said...

I am so envious of your delicious looking vegetables. None here! The radiccho looks very tasty. And apples-yum!

nesting melly said...


i am also in love with marigolds this time of year. they are like the last bursts of sunshine.

also, i am finally doing my homework regarding bringing a school garden back to liberty. i was wondering. did VC ever have cornell coop. ext. come in to survey the space and give you tips, etc.?

thanks! melanie

scottweberpdx said...

Nice post...Apple Crisp is just about the BEST dessert ever!

k said...

Can I copy your apple tree picture to make a sketch from?
I love autumn. We're a bit farther along than you are, however.

JGH said...

Thanks, Nell Jean - I may try some pentas cuttings too, and geraniums this year.

Bookworm, I googled the Purple Knight - it does look similar, but the leaves are brighter purple and veined. Maybe of the same family, though!

Garden Girl ok yes, that is it -Strobilanthes dyerianus "Persian Shield". Another one to add to the list of attempted overwinterings.

Thanks David - glad to have discovered your blog, too!

Laura, I wish I got more butternuts. I'm trying to stretch these two into two meals by freezing half.

Ewa, thanks. It's actually not from this year, but I don't think I ever used it here.

HolleyGarden, thanks - hard to believe that applepicking time is coming to a close already.

HomeTome - we should go together sometime!

VeggiePak - are you taking your granddaughter applepicking this year? After seeing her pick that pepper, I bet she'd love it.

Tina, I'm not done yet. Another head of radicchio, swiss chard and parsely still growing.

Melly, yes, Donna Cooke is the person you want to speak to there. They're running workshops on school gardening all the time there, too. I'd love to come visit sometime, too!

Scott, I agree. Except for chocolate.

K, absolutely you can use it!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Everything look happy in your garden. Hope you have many peas to harvest this fall.

flats in pune said...

This is a wonderful opinion. The things mentioned are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

I love that first apple photograph, but of course all of your pictures are lovely.

Did you bake the squash with raw beets? How long did it take?

The Handyman said...

The plants really make your house feel like a home. You have a nice garden.
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