Kia hora te manno
Kia whakapapa paumamu te moana
Kia tere te Karohirohi

May the calm be widespread
May the sea glisten like the greenstone
And may the glimmer of summer dance across your pathways

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Much to my delight,

there are still a few flowers blooming. I have been expecting to wakeup to a frosty morning for a week or so, but so far we have been lucky not to have Jack frost nipping at our toes.



This one, I do not know the name of.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Surprises from the vegetable garden

The largest of the pumpkins a few weeks ago.

Here it is today, considerably larger and starting to ripen. It is a blue Hubbard, so will be changing to a blue/green color, that is, if the first frost does not kill the plant. As I was cleaning up the garden I trimmed back more of the vines, removed all the other small pumpkins and also several leaves, so all the plant's energy will go into the one pumpkin.

I intend on placing these tomatoes down in our cool basement to ripen. As I was going about the business of cleaning up the vegetable garden, ready for winter, I remembered a post written by Maria of Organically Cooked on how the folks in her Mother's village used to store tomatoes to last them through the winter months.
Quote: My mother's village, located at the foothills of the high peaks of Lefka Ori, could only grow crops that didn't require irrigation. Tomatoes were grown without ever being watered, save one single time when they were planted. These tomatoes grew right throughout the summer. At the end of their growing period, they were cut in bunches and hung onto the rafters of the roof in the stone cottages. These tomatoes just as they were, slightly shriveling but not drying completely, right throughout the winter. The villagers were never without tomatoes all year round, despite not having refrigerators. They had one more ingredient to add to their basic bread and oil.

My green-finger uncles insist that this method of preserving tomatoes has ceased to exist; times have changed, there is more pollution in the soil, air and water, and plants are not grown in the way they traditionally were grown, using only natural fertilization and no chemical additives. Not only do tomatoes not keep well using this system; in Crete, they no longer grow without irrigation.

Even after reading what Maria's uncles said about the tomatoes not keeping well nowadays, I am probably setting myself up for failure, but decided to try storing them for winter use anyway. My garden does get natural fertilizer, llama manure, and is irrigated, which leads me to think the tomatoes the people in Maria's mother's village grew, must have only received rain to keep them growing. I will see if the tomatoes I am storing, keep well or not. I am always up for trying something new.

I was very surprised to find the strawberries are still flowering and producing fruit. All this will come to an end as soon as the first frost hits, whichI feel will be very soon.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I have my fingers crossed

that we do not get our first frost of the season for a few more weeks, as the very first pumpkin I have ever grown, is filling out by leaps and bounds. I would really like to see this one mature.

I have cut the vine back, pulled off any remaining flowers and also pulled off nearly all the other small pumpkins, so the plant's energy will go into this one pumpkin.

I can't complain that I have not had enough tomatoes this year. There are still many unripe fruit on the vines, and if they do not ripen before it frosts, it will not matter. I have eaten tomatoes every day for weeks now, and never get tired of them.

Friday, October 03, 2008

I am still enjoying my flowers on October 3rd

With this long warm Indian Summer we have had, there are still flowers blooming, some just coming into flower, and some perennials I planted a few weeks back, have buds. If we get a frost anytime soon, all the beautiful flowers will be done flowering for this year.