Friday, November 1, 2013

Still Slowly Cleaning Up

Over the last week I've been very slowly cleaning up. A little here and there. Above was the lettuce, celery, and herb bed. It didn't have much in it that was any good. The celery had been harvested and the lettuce was bolting. The parsley was turning yellow. The basil died eons ago to a mildew. So it all got pulled out and was spread with some sifted compost.

This the the after photo of the bed. I had forgotten to seed some mache this fall, but it self seeded itself right here. Not very thickly, but I might get a tad next spring when the snow comes off. And I have one winter savory plant. I haven't a clue what to do with it. I planted it because I didn't know what winter savory was. It turns out it has a lemon scent. If anything it reminds me most of lemon thyme. I figured it might be very different, like when I grew marjoram for the first time. I haven't harvested it. I don't know what to do with it. I suppose it would be nice in a salad dressing or with fish. But it isn't jumping up and screaming "use me". So it is getting neglected.

The other two beds I cleared out were the mustard beds. This is the experimental late mustard (planted early August) that didn't have time to ripen. I guess it made a good cover crop. The other bed (planted end of June), had its second cutting of ripening mustard. This cutting wasn't fully ripe, but I expect it to ripen inside in the pod. It ought to be fine. I'll use the earlier one for seeding next year though. I sifted through more compost and covered these beds up too.

I also pulled up and trimmed some older now dying plants. Kronos decided to help me break down the eight foot tall sunflower plants. He is still working on them.

I now have 6 beds left out of 17. Plus a few scattered flower beds in the yard. They contain spinach, cabbage, Asian greens, carrots, broccoli/chard, and kale. I probably have compost for one or two of them, but no more. I might have to purchase some compost next year. I didn't have to do that last year. The year before I had just two beds that needed extra compost. A friend of my townhouse mates brought some over for me (she owns horses). I'm so close to making enough for my own use, but I'm right at the edge and some years I just don't have enough.

I've been cooking and weirdly making salads during the cold weather. The above salad is so strange. It is spinach, mizuna, cucumber, and avocado. The latter is not from my garden. Yes I'm still eating cucumbers. I have just a few left. They are holding well. But I don't think I've ever made a spinach and cucumber salad. I've certainly never had garden spinach and garden cucumbers together before. My other salad was a winter salad. It had black beans, squash, apple, mizuna, and smoked Gouda. Oh is it good. I'll be having it again for lunch today.

And last but not least, I got a gift today. I mentioned to Susan that I loved guava jam, so she sent me one from her strawberry guavas. It is delicious. Thanks Susan. Guavas certainly aren't something I can grow here.


  1. I, too, grew a winter savory plant from seed this year. The Fedco catalog said it was stronger-flavored than summer savory, and more importantly, a perennial. It grew pretty well. Strangely, though, I find it not to be lemony, but more like regular thyme. Which is funny, because I have more thyme than I can possibly use. We'll see if it survives the winter.

  2. I am looking forward to the weekend so I can do some serious cleanup in the garden. I know I won't have enough compost even with the chickens. I am hoping to cover the beds with shredded leaves and the leftover straw. I like how you cover your beds with netting to both keep the cats out and compost from blowing away. I have lots of lettuce ready for harvest and only carrots to add to it for salads. (Sigh) I can never seem to get the timing right.

  3. Well, If you were willing to drag it inside during the frost/freeze times it will do nicely in a pot. Guavas make a decent house plant as long as you have a sunny spot for them. :-) I <3 guava plants. So hearty and healthy. There isn't much you can do (besides freeze them) to knock 'em out!

  4. I haven't even started my fall cleanup yet, there's bolting lettuces and dead bean plants to clear away, and leaves are falling everywhere.

    Strange that your winter savory is lemony, I don't think that is typical. You should try another plant someday, savory, both winter and summer is supposed to be very complimentary to dried beans, but a lemony savory just doesn't sound right with beans.

  5. Looks like you have a great stand of spinach. I had to reseed mine, so it's doubtful there will be any harvest before next spring.

    I do make unusual salads sometimes with whatever ingredients are at hand, things like squash, greens, beans, etc. But cucumbers in November would be a real treat - mine are just a fond memory now!

  6. Re the Winter Savory: it's really nice with beans, especially Broad Beans, but use it sparingly. It has a strong (slightly "antiseptic"?) flavour, somewhat akin to Rosemary.

  7. You spinach looks lovely, I pulled all the runner beans and potato plants, there are more work waiting and the air is getting quite chilly now-a-days.

  8. Daphne,
    So glad you like the guava jam. From my kitchen to yours--bi-coastal guava jam. Susan

  9. i guess nothing strange within the salad, it just needed a little bit of crispy bacon and renderred bacon fat.....