Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Night Photos: The Garden in Fall and Garden Windfalls (2010 Garden Update #15)

fall garden produceIt's definitely fall weather in Utah, but I'm one of those people who hangs on to the garden as long as possible, and most of my garden plants are still (barely) surviving. This is the produce I got this morning after no pickings for 5 days. Still, even though they aren't overly plentiful, I savor these late vegetables, especially the tomatoes which I'm still using to make tomato sandwiches and slow roasted tomatoes.

I didn't pick them today, but the collards and kale are still producing lots of greens, and the chard has grown back with gusto! I picked a huge bunch of chard earlier this week and turned it into Chard and Chickpea Soup with Sausage and Green Pepper.

I can't say for sure, but this guy might have been one of the culprits who was eating the chard. I heard from my neighbors that quail are also eating the greens at their house. (I'm not even sure that this bird is a quail, does anyone know?)

I still have high hopes for the heirloom tomatoes I grew from seeds, even though so far I've only gotten about 5 ripe ones. The three plants are loaded with tomatoes, so if we get a frost warning in Utah, I'll probably pick them and wrap in newspaper to ripen inside. (Thanks to Beth from PA for reminding me in a comment that the reason to wrap the tomatoes in newspaper or put a layer of newspaper over them is because it traps the ethylene gas which causes the fruit to ripe. Here's more about ethylene gas if you're interested.)

It was a week for garden windfalls around here, because several nice people shared their garden produce with me. This gorgeous bowl of peaches (minus about 10 I've eaten already) came from my sister-in-law Amy, whose recipe for Amy's Amazing White Chicken Chili has been a favorite of so many readers.

My brother Rand is also in town for the wedding of our nephew Matt to Lindy, his lovely girlfriend who already feels like a member of the family. Rand is the uber-talented guy who designs all the headers and graphics on the blog, and these figs came from his tree.

And these Hatch Chili Peppers are from Carmen, the grandmother of the groom, who makes the best tamales I've ever eaten. As you guessed, Carmen lives in New Mexico, and is the mother of my sister-in-law Lisa, as well as Nefi, whose recipe for Pork and Green Chile Stew is another favorite on the blog. Sometime this weekend (after the wedding festivities are over) I'll be roasting green chiles on the barbecue.

Since there's a wedding going on, I'm posting these photos early so I can take the night off from the blog. I'll still be able to publish comments from my phone though, so if you have suggestions for South Beach Friendly things to make from peaches, figs, or Hatch Chili Peppers, I'd love to hear about them.

You can see all my garden updates from this year by using the label
2010 Garden Updates.

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More to Chew On:


  1. Definitely a quail. Looks to be a young one! I love quail. I'd let them have some of my chard if they only lived here.

  2. Dree, thanks for that info! The problem is, they don't want just "some" of the chard, they want ALL the chard. They eat it until there are just stubs left.

  3. Hi Kalyn,

    I never considered picking the tomatoes early and just letting them ripen inside. We had a problem this year with letting them ripen but by the time we got out to pick them, they had worm holes. Now I know what to do next year. Plus we had a ground hog that put it's teeth marks in nearly all our squash!

  4. Liz, it's definitely preferable to let tomatoes ripen on the vine if you can. But if they are going to get frozen, you can wrap each tomato individually in newspaper and they will ripen inside. I don't know what the newspaper does, but that's the way I learned to do it.

    Sorry to hear about the garden pests at your house; that's annoying!

  5. A gorgeous photo, Kalyn. Real food beauty ... something I can always count on here at your blog! :-)

    Have fun at your wedding! And, do you mind if I include your guidance on ripening tomatoes inside in my latest post that includes tomatoes?

    Thanks so much!

  6. What a beautiful composition of your garden vegetables. It looks like a still-life painting. That's a great harvest for this late in the season.

  7. Shirley, of course you're welcome to mention that tip about wrapping the tomatoes in newspaper. I can't remember where I heard it, but I promise it works.

    Lydia, thank you. I was kind of surprised there was that many veggies.

  8. LOve the vegetables. . .They're super good, and highly recommended.

  9. That first picture is so beautiful! You have your harvest arraigned like a painting! The colors of nature are amazing!

  10. Living in Nothern Ontario I almost always bgring in boxes of tomatoes. Wrapping each one indivdidually would take hours, and how would i ever check them for ripeness. insteadd, I spread the green tomatoes on the large boxes you get at the supermarket and cover the whole layer with newspapaer. Each day I simply pick up the paper and take out ripening tomatoes. Not quite as tasty as ripe from the vine, but fine for roasting with herbs.

  11. Hi Kalyn,
    Just a little FYI about wrapping them in newspaper. The newspaper, or paper bag keeps the ethelyne (sp) gas in. That is what ripens the fruit, and what causes it to go bad in the fridge. I use this trick all season long. I've put them in a box in the garage and just kept them on the kitchen windowsill. Perfectly ripe, tasty tomatoes every time.
    Hope it's a beautiful day for the wedding.
    Beth in PA

  12. Healy, thanks. Today I'm going to start cooking them!

    Cindi, thank you. I was mostly trying to fit them on the cutting board so I could show how many there were!

    Libby D., thanks for that tip! It sounds like a great way to do it if you have a lot of tomatoes.

    Beth, thanks for chiming in. Of course that makes sense, and hooray for that ethylene gas! It's definitely something that has let me enjoy my tomatoes for a few months longer.

  13. By the way, the wedding was lovely. I'm just about to download my photos.

  14. Yes, it's a quail...possibly a California quail (Well...see the little tag from Rodeo Drive on his ankle? No? Anyway...). And what LOVELY veggies! I could move to Utah if that's what can grow there.

  15. Thanks for conforming it's a quail. This is the first year I've had them in my garden, not sure why. The weather in Utah is great for gardening as long as you're not in the mountains.

  16. Wow- such gorgeousity. Fresh from the garden. Just to look at those beautiful veggies lifts my mood. Good therapy for me today (hot and working all day). ;-) xox

  17. Karina, thanks. Glad you enjoyed the photos!

  18. Thanks for sharing the newspaper tip for the tomatoes. I needed that one!

  19. Sherry, you're welcome. I've done it for years and always enjoyed those newspaper-ripened tomatoes.

  20. Thanks for the chili recipes and all your recipes for that matter. We're about 4 hours from Hatch, NM. While we already have ours put away, there are still roadside roasters set up everywhere. Anyway, I'm always looking for new things to do with chili. Thanks again.

    Also, I too thank you for the tip on the Tomatoes. That's good to know.

  21. Steve, you're welcome. And your comment is very timely because my chiles are on the grill roasting right this minute!

  22. oh wow, your garden sure is doing great for the fall weather!

  23. PJ it is starting to slow down more, which always makes me kind of sad!


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