Thursday, October 1, 2009

October harvest

It seems strange not to be planning a trip to a farmers market. But at the same time, it's quite nice to be staying at home!

My October home garden is in its autumnal transition to winter slumber. Dry corn stalks hover over shriveling pumpkin vines. It looks very much like fall. 

I harvested about 4 cups of corn from tiny ears. I heard a lot of home gardens produced small ears of corn this year, and no one seems to know why. Speculation was that it had something to do with cool nights and rainy days, but other crops did well.

I also got 9 pumpkins of varying sizes, even one that looks like an orange hourglass.

In the community garden, I picked about a pound of good-sized jalapeno peppers. My acorn squash plant went to town, producing 8 lovely squashes. The tomatoes did fairly well, although one plant died, leaving, well, one plant. (At home I am still plucking off cherry tomatoes as they ripen.)

Last year in the communal area in the community garden we grew lots of corn. This year it was all kinds of squash. I brought home a pretty buttercup squash that I understand is particularly tasty. I've never had one, and so I found a recipe for risotto that uses it. I've never eaten or made risotto, so this will be interesting on all counts. I might try substituting Montana-grown barley for rice.

lovely buttercup squash

Next year I hope to try canning again. (I used to do this and loved it.) But this year I have lots of squash to store away for the winter. All you do for squash is make sure you pick it when it's ripe, let it sit a bit in the sun to "harden," and then put it in a cool place until you need it.

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