The garden gate stands open now, nothing much left to protect within. Peas, zucchini, squash, green beans, peppers, and tomatoes are like a long-ago dream. Our garden wasn’t particularly abundant, but it did serve us well enough since I didn’t have a pressure canner to preserve any massive surplus anyway. I’ve been gifted with a “new” fifty-year-old pressure canner this week, which I’m going to try out on some half-price green beans from the market. I’ll be ready for next year’s garden! Its surplus is just a twinkle in my eye right now, but I’m determined and we’re planning our overwintering tactics to improve our construction-scraped soil.
We’ve got a line on some free horse manure, but for now, “poopy” straw from cleaning out pens is a cornerstone of our overwintering plans.
The goats are helping, as are the chickens.
Coco, you are NOT helping.
Stop laying on your back staring upside down at them through the chicken wire! THEY DON’T LIKE THAT.
I hope she doesn’t distract them from pooping.
The poopy straw makes its way onto the razed garden.
Leaves and kitchen scraps (my sort of shortcut composting until I get a compost bin built) will go onto the garden, too. It will all simmer through the winter, waiting to be turned over into the soil in the spring.
There are still a few bursts of life in the garden.
We’re trying to grow a little lettuce for late autumn salads..
Trying is the key word.
It’ll work out better if Coco quits napping right there.
I want to have a big, giant, crazy pumpkin patch next year. I don’t know why I want to have a big, giant, crazy pumpkin patch. I just do. Kinda like I want an ornamental cow and a pet sheep. And maybe some piglets. Okay, I’m out of control.
I’m sure I’d be better if I just had a big, giant, crazy pumpkin patch. At least.
I brought all my potted herbs in to protect them from frost then cut and hung them to dry. (See Drying Herbs!) Herbs like sage, rosemary, bay, mint, thyme, oregano, summer savory, and many others dry well.
Some herbs store better frozen, such as basil, chives, dill, chervil, and tarragon. Chop your herbs first.
Then spread herbs in a thin layer on a sheet. Place the sheet in the freezer for one hour.
After an hour, transfer them to a container and store in the freezer. They’ll stay good for months this way, though this jar of chives won’t last that long!
And the last of the tomatoes are in, many of them still green.
Which means it’s fried green tomatoes time!
How much of this coating recipe you’ll need depends on how many tomatoes you’re frying, so double or triple as needed.
How to make Fried Green Tomatoes:
firm green tomatoes
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, whisked
1 cup bread crumbs or cornmeal
salt, pepper, garlic, herbs to taste
oil for frying
Heat oil in a skillet. Slice tomatoes (approximately half-inch thick). Place flour, milk, eggs, and bread crumbs or cornmeal in separate bowls. Add salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, whatever you like, to both the flour and the bread crumbs or cornmeal and stir to blend.
Set up your assembly line.
Dip tomato slices in this order: milk, flour, eggs, bread crumbs or cornmeal. Fry on both sides, watching and turning quickly–it will only take a few minutes on each side.
I like to have fried green tomatoes with Ranch dressing or ketchup.
Got any great techniques for overwintering your garden to prepare for next year? I’d love to hear!
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