Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The earth is changing;
The seasons turn round.
The autumn leaves flutter
Their way to the ground.

My own world is changing;
The seasons conspire
To grand me the peace
of a rest by the fire.

Melissa Pinol

This poem is everything I love about the Fall season.  I look forward to cold dry days when I walk my girls to school.  The leaves changing such bold colors then falling down around us. Hot cocoa in front of the rip roaring fire crackling away.  I am ready for Fall before Summer is even over. 

I tried growing my own pumpkins and squash but it was doomed from the beginning.  I planted them in my yard where my dog has access.  My thinking was that they do not put off a smell when ready so my dog wouldn't be interested in them.  So a week or so after I planted them (and they started growing) my dog decided to dig in the dirt and spread them all over the yard.  I scrambled to find them all and replanted them in my garden where the dog couldn't get them.  They had plenty of water and sun but didn't really grow all that much.  So this year I had only a small amount actually grow. This year we will have to go buy pumpkins to carve.  Were excited because its been a while since we have had the experience of going to a farm and picking our own out while enjoying all the fun stuff that comes along with it. 

I took a trip to one of my favorite farms yesterday.  I was on the hunt for blue pumpkins and was excited to find one with lots of fun markings.  These pumpkins make the best moist pumpkin puree for any pumpkin recipe.  At 49 cents per pound its a great deal!
Just look how beautiful these are.  Man I love Fall!
Last night it hit a all time low here in the NW Portland area.  It was 39 degrees! I was worried about my tomatoes all night and actually lost a little sleep over it.  So this morning I panicked and pulled all (5lbs worth) my tomatoes. 
Look how beautiful these things are! I will be putting all these in paper bags to ripen so I can bake them.  Roasted red tomato sauce is my favorite and will probably be put in my freezer for later use.  Yummy!
All Fall I will be saving any and all seeds I get from all the organic pumpkin/squash I buy.  As long as they are organic I will be able to save them to grow my own next year.  Here you see my pink banana squash seeds I am air drying right now.  I didn't plant my banana squash in a sunny enough location so they didn't get as big as they should of been.  Next year I will remember this! Once these are done and completely dry then I will keep them in a dark cool place until January. 

I'm also reading a few books right now.  These are my two current reads which I'm enjoying very much.  My goal is to read one chapter in each book each day.  So far so good.  Today was about fast food commercials and how much our children are actually watching each week.  3 hours to be exact! Also learned about meat and how the food pyramid tricks you.  I know exciting huh?

So what are you reading right now?

Whats going on in your garden?

Are you a Fall nut like myself?


Cath McLeod Manley said...

So, putting them in paper bags is superior to setting them on a windowsill in the sun? Please advise. Almost NONE of my tomatoes ripened this year and I have a ton of them!!! While I love fried green tomatoes (which I DO!), I'm definitely hoping there is an additional alternative... Thanks!!! (new at this gardening stuff, Cath)

Cath McLeod Manley said... butternut squash is acorn-squash sized... :(((( What did I do wrong???

Surviving and thriving on pennies said...

Honestly I have no idea which method is better. I have always put in in the windowsill but only usually have a tomato or two to ripen. Because I had no many to ripen I just followed my neighbor Hazels advise by putting them into paper bags. Thanks Hazel!
As for your butternut squash it could be a few things. Like my problem is was my dog. How a plant is grown from the beginning decides how your plant grows later on. Make sense? Also it could be the weather, not enough water, not enough sun, and a host of other issues. All you can do it learn and move to another location next year. This year for example my corn doesnt do well in the back of the garden. Next year its going to be grown in the front. I would recommend making a garden journal. YOu can use any spiral or fancy journal you want. Write the date of when you planted, where you planted, and when you pulled. ALso how well each item grew in that location. This way you can always go back and see what worked and didnt work.
Keep those questions coming!