Garden: It's nearly the end of November and we're still getting peppers, eggplants, okra, and kale. We've been pulling kale from the same plants for two years in a row!
I picked over five pounds of serrano peppers and turned them into pickled peppers and hot sauce. Later today I'll use up the last of the bell and poblano peppers in a sausage and pepper medley.
I've been using the eggplants for sandwich fillings. I like to saute thin strips of eggplant with spinach and green onion and stuff them into toasted pita bread. Delish!
Our tomato plants died off during the height of summer (too much sun) but I started new plants and they're producing fruits now. They're not as prolific as the spring tomatoes, but I can't complain when I can pick fresh tomatoes in December.
My only disappointment has been my romaine lettuce. It's gorgeous, but still bitter even with the cooler temps. I've read that black seeded Simpson lettuce is less prone to bitterness so that's on my list for next year. I'm determined to grow sweet lettuce.
The winter garden consists of: peppers (hot and sweet), tomatoes, radishes, beets, kale, spinach, snow peas, carrots, potatoes (in pots), eggplant, sweet potatoes, chard, garlic, pumpkin, winter squash, and strawberries.
I accidentally planted cucumbers! Oy! So now I have little baby cukes on the vine. I'm trying to keep them protected for another few weeks until they're harvest size.
I also planted soybeans (a lark since I knew it was too late to for them), but they actually produced pods. Still, they could've used another 3 weeks of warm weather. Soybeans are a great cover crop though, so they won't go to waste. They'll amend the soil.
We had a light freeze over the weekend, but it looks like everyone weathered it fine.
Goats: I think the girls are pregnant. We've yet to decide for certain, but we may just raise these kids to sell in 2016. They sold really well this year.
We've been toying with the idea of raising a small cow for the freezer. We'd have to get other people to go in with us because there's no way we could store, let alone eat a whole cow. It's a two-year idea at least. From what I've read, 18 months is the average age for slaughter.
I kind of like the idea of raising beef on our pasture--with no antibiotics or growth hormones. It's a 'maybe' project for the think-shelf.
Chickens: After raising the Marans for two years, I've decided to sell the birds next spring. They lay beautiful dark brown eggs, but they're fussy birds, and don't lay near as prolifically as the Australorp or Americaunas.
We may add a few quail next year. I've never tasted quail but Greg says they're good. I don't mind trying a few to see what they're like.
Rabbits: Alas, Frodo (our male rabbit) tries his best but he has a hard time mating with our bigger girl. I'll probably sell him in the spring and find a bigger bunny to do the job.
Around the house:
We put up a fence for our indoor atrium. I didn't want to do it at first, but I got tired of the dogs picking up a mouthful of dirt from one of my potted plants and then expertly grinding it into the light-colored Oriental rug.
It was the perfect weight in wrought iron for indoor use. The only thing I did was paint it a bronze color.
Countdown to Thanksgiving: This is the week when most of the US settles down to food and family. I bought a small turkey this year. The sides dishes will come from the garden. Broccoli, snow peas, and garlic mashed potatoes.
Greg gets his traditional homemade pumpkin pie all to himself. (I dislike pumpkin.)
We're planning for a quiet Thanksgiving. Good food with my weird landscaping dogs and my best guy.
How about you? If you celebrate Thanksgiving, what do you plan to serve?
Have you ever tried quail? How would you describe the taste?
Gardeners, do you have any lettuce recommendations?
And raise a paw if you have a pet that likes to spread dirt like a coal miner. You can cry on my shoulder. I know your pain.