Garden, Plant, Cook!

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

In Appreciation of Vegetables!

Listarda Eggplant
Dear Folks,

October is "Vegetarian Appreciation Month", which started in 1977.

You do NOT have to be a vegetarian or vegan to appreciate the flavor and beauty of vegetables.

I made a huge batch of Ratatouille the other day:  Eggplant, tomatoes, sweet peppers, onion, and zucchini seasoned with dried Greek Oregano and Celery from the garden.  A tiny bit of uncured bacon fat (1 tablespoon) in a 350 oven for 80 minutes until they were all melty.

I had some leftover, so last night I cooked up some pasta type couscous (1:2 ratio of pasta to water, bring to a boil, add pasta, stir, cover and let sit for 5 minutes off the heat).  I added 2 tablespoons of my basil "pesto" (basil ground with some olive oil), and then stirred in the warmed left over ratatouille and topped with shredded Mozzarella cheese.  A perfect meal whether you are an omnivore or a vegetarian.

The butternut squash seedlings love the site I picked and I am tickled they took.  Not really the right time for them, but I am pushing the envelope this coming year with the climate changing up when to plant and when the plants are happiest.  I mean, why not!  With global weirding and my personal garden journeys using trowel and error to find when and where to help my plants be happy and healthy, the need to keep up with that weirding means continuing to push the envelope.

So far we have received just under .6 tenths of an inch of rain from Rosa (6:30 Tuesday morning), and we are expecting more according to forecasts. It is welcome, but would prefer not damage!

My Roselle is really in full flowering mode and the plant while a bit bent from the rains yesterday morning, are full of flowers - I just love this plant.

I have some small mix lettuce leaves to harvest along with the sweet potato and roselle leaves and I think I will snip a piece of Turmeric leaf to add to the mix  This plant is quite happy in its spot.  My ginger struggled this year so I need to find a better spot for it.  When I harvest the Turmeric later I will also transplant the ginger, as soon as I figure out a better spot for it.

Sugar Pea seedlings are coming along fine. I have started two rows a couple of weeks apart and will continue that until I have about 6 rows. I want to have a LOT of sugar peas.

A new location for a sweet pepper is proving to be a good choice.  The plant had some afternoon shade through the hot summer and is now about 3 feet tall and putting out fruit.  This burgundy pepper photo I took about 5 days ago, surprised me with the color.  A pepper I missed on the plant was on the ground yesterday, birds being helpful and it was bright red, so the color transition of this variety is interesting.  I have tried a new variety of sweet pepper - a type of Habanero but with no heat, and I'm wondering if this is what I sowed here.  I have the greatest facility for NOT remembering to note what I planted and where, so it becomes a kind of surprise gift when something comes up not where I expected it!

I hope you use October and all months to appreciate all of the wonderful vegetables and other edibles you can grow in our desert gardens.

DON'T forget - your garlic -- get your cloves in the ground no later than October 31st for the best success possible for spring harvest.

Have a best day,

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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