Fall, At Last

I never want to wish time to speed up, but frankly I am glad to see the end of summer 2010. So far this year we have had over 75 days with temps in the 90s(F), and our rainfall has been a foot less than normal. I don’t know if fall will be any wetter than summer this year, but it’s already cooler, and that is a welcome relief!

Last week I broke ground on the new Impact garden, though perhaps “broke” is too strong a word to use. The tiller chattered and jumped over the parched brown grass, sending up dust clouds whenever it did manage to penetrate into the soil. I finally got down through most of the dead sod. That’s about the best I can hope to do until we get some rain and the soil softens up a bit. The conditions are similar to when I started our new vegetable garden here in 2007, and I remember how difficult it was to work the soil that fall.

figs wrapped in prosciutto ham

And speaking of the garden here, the star performer this week was the fig. We got over two pounds of them, which was enough to snack on plus some for drying. I cut some of the big Brown Turkey figs in quarters, wrapped them with a piece of prosciutto and a bit of Parmigiano cheese, and grilled them for a couple of minutes. Mmmm good!

figs in dehydrator

I harvested enough small fruited tomatoes (Juliet, Golden Rave, Black Cherry, Sun Gold) to roast some in the oven. These roasted tomatoes are a real favorite of ours. They found their way onto pita pizzas, and into a frittata.

I also harvested some nice Dancer eggplants this week. Those got grilled, and there are some Fairy Tale eggplants that need to be dealt with soon. Thank goodness for the Fairy Tale plants in pots. The rest of the plants have not done well at all this year. The ones in pots are more convenient to water, plus the Fairy Tale variety is very prolific.

It looks like we will have some fall cucumbers next week. I’ve never tried to grow a late crop of cucumbers, but the Manny variety from Territorial Seed (formerly Sharon 59) was bred to do well in the greenhouse during colder months. It’s done great in the spring for us, so I decided to give it a try in the fall. I hope it performs, because it’s taking up a fair amount of space in the greenhouse beds. If we have cucumbers in October it will be worth it!

greenhouse cucumber sizing up

The other big harvest this week was compost. I shoveled and sifted a batch that I started back in early August. I got a whopping 14 bushels from bin#2 alone! At least half of that went on the raised beds where I will plant garlic next month. We hope to get another batch of compost cooking next week. We’ve got plenty of plant material waiting to be shredded, and there should be time to get it finished before cold weather sets in.

empty compost bin, ready to be filled

Our total harvest this week was 7 pounds, and the slower pace of the garden in Fall is really nice. There’s still plenty to be done, but now the freezer and pantry are full of food, and there’s more time to enjoy the autumn weather before winter arrives. I think I see a picnic in our future, and maybe a day trip or two. I hope you’re enjoying the season, wherever you are!

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16 Responses to Fall, At Last

  1. Emily says:

    Your figs look wonderful. I like the design of your compost bin. Now that we have a bigger garden, there is more to compost and I need to ask my husband to make me one of those.

  2. Angela says:

    I also had a great crop from my brown turkey figs. You’s look great with the prosciutto and so does the pizza.

    Your fall cucumber, is it bread to grow well in cooler temperatures or to he happy with shorter days in a warm greenhouse? I am wondering if this is a variety for me to try to grow right now…

    • Villager says:

      It says it was bred to ‘thrive in the greenhouse during colder months with low light levels’. I have some extra seed if you’d like to try it.

  3. johanna says:

    Your cucumbers look similar to mine, I can’t vouch for the variety because I picked up the seeds while traveling in Israel. Although they produced all summer, mine did not do well during the hot month of July but came to life as soon as the temperature dropped a bit. Still collecting two or three a day and they look like they will last into October.
    Enjoy the future picnic and day trip.

  4. Daphne Gould says:

    Those figs look just delicous. Yum. I know how you feel about the rain. We seem to finally be getting some. At least we have had some drizzle and more in the forecast. I hope we get a few inches over the next few days to really wet down the soil.

  5. I just used up some dried figs in a salad last week, with blue cheese and walnuts, which was most tasty, but figs wrapped in proscuitto, well, I can think of no better send-off for a fig! I’m glad fall finally made it for you, it seems our absentee summer has decided to show up after all, with temps near the century mark today, finally, whacky weather…I have fall planting to do, and now it seems our lettuce might bolt instead. Can only hope for a ‘normal year’ next year 😛 At least one crop that won’t be spoiled is our compost harvest, that hopefully will commence by week’s end…

  6. Robin says:

    Boy, those figs look absolutely wonderful!! I’m sure that My Italian will be envious of your wonderful fig dish.

  7. Mike says:

    Wow, that is a long stretch of very hot weather, I would be ready for another year too. We are stealing one of your listed foccacia recipes to make a pizza tonight, I can’t wait.:)

  8. Dan says:

    Interesting cucumber trial!

  9. meemsnyc says:

    I am loving all the figs you harvested! Totally awesome!

  10. Ali says:

    Hmmm, these cukes sound very intriguing. I may try some next spring, as I love cukes! When did you plant your fall crop, and when is your frost date?

    Ali

  11. Ali says:

    ps. your figs make me drool in envy…. I;ve thought about them, but don’t think they’d overwinter in my hoophouse. Now a full-sized greenhouse…

  12. thyme2garden says:

    Over 75 days of 90+ degree weather sounds like one HOT summer. I was only in Indiana on weekends, but I was starting to get really tired of the hot temperatures, too.

    7 lbs of harvest this week, I’m guessing that didn’t include your compost harvest? 😉

    The fig/prosciutto combination sound absolutely delightful. I’m going to have ask a local nursery how I might go about acquiring a fig tree for next year!

  13. Nice looking fig harvest. I plan on getting some Chicago figs for overwintering next year. We’ll see how they do.. As for difference in climate, we have had a very wet fall so if I were breaking any ground it would sound a bit more like a sculptural project what with all the muddy squishing.

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