31 October 2010

Last harvest?

There were a few snow flurries today, and tonight the temperature is supposed to drop below freezing. I thought it best to pick most of the greenhouse crops. I love walking back to the kitchen with a container full of vegetables under each arm (although I do worry that I might be developing some sort of Demeter complex) and today I was sad that this might be the last time I do that this year.

There were a lot of green tomatoes, which may or may not ripen by the kitchen window. I blanched the spinach and froze it and the cayenne peppers. The aubergines/eggplants are destined for a moussaka that I'm planning to make for lunch on Tuesday. They've done really well this year. There were some Hungarian Hot Wax peppers too, which I've pickled. Here's a picture of those, (a special request from our neighbour, Elizabeth).


Mike and I were busy in the lower vegetable garden this morning, pulling out the old corn, sunflowers and squash plants and then adding chicken manure to the beds and tilling it in. In the process, we turned four smallish beds into two large ones, to give us more growing space and to reduce the amount of grass-cutting that's needed in the summer. I'm delighted with the way the chicken manure turned out - it's rotted down to a rich brown material which I hope will do wonders for the potatoes next year.

Manure is the only useful thing that the chickens are producing at the moment: the older ones are in a moulting phase and have stopped laying, while the younger ones have yet to start. The new feathers are starting to come through on the older hens, making them look rather piebald and scruffy:


I hope they all start laying again soon: we had to buy eggs this week for the first time in a year, which was most upsetting!

11 comments:

kitsapFG said...

Great harvest! I have been freezing eggs that are currently surplus so that we will be ready for the molting/reduced production phases they go through.

Emily said...

Those full baskets of produce look great.

I loved you use of the word piebald in describing the chicken. I'd only heard the word in C.S. Lewis' Perelandra (Audio book version), and so seeing it in print made me look it up and understand why the woman character calls Ransom 'Piebald' when he is half sunburned and half pasty white.
Thanks!

Barbie said...

Amazing harvest! Your chicken doesn't look scruffy - she looks warm. :-D

michelle said...

My girls are molting now also, and to say mine look scruffy is being kind. I hope your girls get to laying soon, those store bought eggs just don't compare.

Caralin said...

Have you got a recipe for the pickled chillies?

TYRA said...

Impressiv November harvest! Beautiful

Tyra

Amanda said...

Thanks everyone!

kitsapFG - I wish I'd been as organised as you are...

Emily - it's a great word, isn't it?

Caralin - the recipe was from http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/04/pickled-peppers/.

prue said...

what a huge harvest, so much preserving to do.

thyme2garden said...

Pickled whole hot peppers, that sounds interesting!

I love the beautiful color of your chicken!

Daphne said...

Those pickled peppers look just delicious. I don't have chickens, but buy mine from the farmers market. I'll be really sad when all the markets are closed and I can't get any more. Store bought just isn't the same.

Stevie from GardenTherapy.ca said...

wow - that is a big harvest - and those peppers look delightful! mmmm