Last weekend delivered incredible weather for September, with both Saturday and Sunday in the high 70s. Bright, sunny, slightly humid and no wind- not the usual fare for late summer. It felt like high summer, even with the sun descending much earlier each evening.
Friends were visiting us at the pond, so the normal routine was happily interrupted. There was still garden activity, though. The veggies need to come in when they are ready. Nothing significant was planned for hiking, but I did find time for a short local walk on Sunday. I guess this post could be called a crossover episode, as there is Garden 2022 news along with some commentary about the hike.
The tomatoes are coming off fast and furious now. We only planted two grape tomato plants and one each of Jetstar and paste varieties, and the yield is slightly more than we can consume. We supply some friends and neighbors with the excess, and Wife plans to make a sauce this week. That should deplete the tomato stock, at least for a few days. Their season is running out, though.
The cukes are done, and I plan to get those vines removed this week in order to have time to clean off the trellises and get them stored before the cold weather. The pumpkins are also done- I harvested the two that grew and put them out on the patio, replacing some of the potted plants which were relocated to the compost heap.
The King of the North bell peppers have begun to change colors, and we’re harvesting them as well. Delicious cooked, or raw in a salad or sandwich. One of my favorite things to throw together this time of year is a medley of halved grape tomatoes, diced red onions, chopped peppers, sliced radishes and small mozzarella cheese balls. I let this sit for a couple hours in an Italian salad dressing, and then serve. Everything except the cheese and dressing is grown in the garden, and it’s good.
Strawberries have mounted a meaningful comeback in September, putting out enough fruit for Wife to make several Strawberry Cobbler desserts and also dress up salads. Even though we managed to freeze up a gallon last June, I’ll miss the strawbs when the fresh ones run out.
Next up will be harvesting all of the carrots. I’ve got that targeted for next weekend, along with processing the last two eggplants out there. Those Guida eggplants have done well this year, and they have begun flowering again, but I’m unsure if there’s enough time left for any new fruits to develop.
And then all that will be left is the brassica. We’ve eaten and stored some of the Brussels sprouts from the ten early plants, but there are many more sprouts to harvest there. Then there are the six newer transplants set out in August. They are doing very well, and should hopefully have meaningful production into November.
The two beds each of broccoli and cauliflower are flourishing. Heads are beginning to form on the broccoli, and the cauliflower shouldn’t be far behind. We’ll be blanching and freezing a lot of both (I hope!) beginning next month. These crops also can go right into November.
Saturday night found us down in East Burke with our friends. We had reservations for dinner at the Burke Publick House, which we’ve visited before and enjoyed. Good food, staff and service. This place is on our list to regularly visit.
Having reached the restaurant well before our reservation time, we were looking for somewhere to land for a while and happened upon The Orange Rind across the road. It’s one of those places that belies its outward appearance. We’ve driven by the place countless times, and it registers as a small storefront-style cafe. In reality, it’s a very large and well done outdoor venue accessed by either going right through the storefront, or entering through the parking lot on the west side of the building. Excellent outdoor seating, some with firepits, along with a large roofed tiki bar. There was live music that afternoon, and we enjoyed our time there before heading across the street for dinner. I plan to go back.
These are blatant plugs for both places. I encourage you to visit them if you have the opportunity.
I see I forgot to mention the sunflowers. Once again disappointed, not through any fault of the plants or seeds, but of location. My attempt to grow these Mammoth Sunflowers on the top of the bank overlooking the pond has failed for the past two years. I think the birds and other critters ate the dozen seedlings first set out in June, and the subsequent direct seeding of the area yielded but a single mature plant. I don’t think they could compete with the natural vegetation.
We’ll try again next year!
Several times this summer I’ve popped over to East Charleston to walk the quiet roads around Echo Lake. The place I usually park at for this walk is the trailhead of the Wolcott Trail, which seems to be an old road that leads up the northerly side of Tripp Hill to the remnants of the Wolcott Homestead. I’d been meaning to check this short walk out, and needing to stretch the legs, on Sunday afternoon I did just that.
The trail is not long, nor difficult, though it is uphill until you reach the junction with a more recent trail created by the Northwoods Stewardship Center. The trails don’t seem to be used too much, and there’s really not a lot to see other than the remains of a foundation and a cellar hole, presumably of the Wolcott Homestead. I walked the trails past the ruins to the spot on the map noted as “Forestry for the Birds”, where I saw nothing of note.
I did encounter some gigantic mushrooms, though:
Via the photo my son tentatively identified these as Leccinum scabrum, commonly known as the rough-stemmed bolete, scaber stalk, and birch bolete. Reportedly they’re edible, but I’ll not be eating them anytime soon.
Here’s a few photos taken during that walk. It took less than an hour, and a total of just over two miles, round trip.
The coming weekend looks to have another mountain from the “52 With A View” list on the schedule. I’ll probably have something to say about it around this time next week. Perhaps some comments about other things as well- you never know.
Thanks for stopping by!