Connie's Garden, Week of 11/1/10:
Squeezing a little more summer out of the summer squash!Gardening in containers can give the home gardener a way to extend the growing season. The picture at right was taken at the very end of October! By raising the vegetables off the ground and placing the container in the sunniest south-facing spot in the yard, the plants are still producing small summer squash. Meanwhile, the summer squash in the backyard beds have been reduced to a sad mess of rotting vines!
Connie's Garden, Week of 10/11/10:
Lettuce Celebrate!Instead of griping about the unusually cool summer in Western Oregon (see below), I'm celebrating that I have had lettuce the entire season! I just put in my third planting of mesclun. Mesclun is a mixture of greens that are planted and cut together for an instant delicious salad. Seed packets vary but mine has a mixture of red leaf lettuce, kale, green leafy lettuce, arugula, and romaine.
Connie's Garden, Week of 9/20/10:
Pepper PickingLike all of the "hot" crops in Western Oregon this cool summer, my peppers are late and not as bountiful. I do have peppers, just not so many. I enjoy them chopped and sliced in everything from salads to omelets to pizza toppings. But I will need to go to the market to get enough to make these delicious Polenta Stuffed Peppers.
2010 Garden, Previous Weeks:
Tomatoes, At Last!I live in Western Oregon and with our mild summer, it has taken until September for ripe tomatoes. It's well worth the wait, though. You can see from the photos below that there are many left to ripen so I'm hoping for another spurt of heat. The tomatoes are great alone, in a caprese salad or tossed with the cucumber salad below. A few more ideas are included here.
Connie's Crunchy, Cool Cukes
There's nothing more refreshing than a cucumber salad in the summer. I'm taking advantage of my harvest with the following recipe (the first three ingredients come from my backyard garden):
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped, sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped ripe olives
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup crumbled Queso Fresco part-skim cheese
Gently toss all ingredients together and chill for at least one hour. Enjoy!
Green Bean Time!
After a few days of hot Oregon sun, I have green beans galore. I love them best when they are simply prepared. Just trim the ends, heat a bit of olive oil in a nonstick pan, and sauté with chopped sweet onions (also from my garden). Delicious!