Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Gardening Season and Bountiful Produce at the Market.

We are really looking forward to the fall growing season. Our garden this summer was not so great, except for the herbs and peppers. It was an awful year for tomatoes. We tried growing two of our plants in the much praised upside down containers, and they produced nothing, nada. One problem may be that we already had our tomato plants before we got the hanging planters (and the directions), so we put the long gangly heirloom tomatoes, German Stripe and Cherokee Purple, in instead of the smaller bush type tomatoes that were recommended. Also, I think the water delivery system didn't work so well, and I have taken the water receptacle completely out of the planter with the worse dryness problem. Now that tomato is soaking up all our early fall rain directly.

The tomatoes in the ground are looking great, all green and refreshed with the plentiful rain and full of little green tomatoes, especially the Goliath, another heirloom we picked up at a stand in a front yard in a little rural town, Comanche, TX, I think. Edward, R, my mom and I wandered around the small yard picking out lots of herbs and vegetable starts, then put our money in a box on the porch. I love small towns. Okra is reviving as well, and one branch of a yellow bell pepper plant broke from the weight of all the peppers.

The rain has been great, but it has wreaked havoc with the delicate seedlings of fall greens plantings, like spinach and arugula...have had to reseed a couple of times.

I saved seeds from a butternut squash we had for dinner a while back and the vines are hearty with blooms and little tiny green squashes. When I saw how well those seedlings were doing, I did the same with another grocery store veggie, an acorn squash, which is still small but healthy. I am just counting on our long Texas growing season to get it through to production before a freeze.

I'm not sure that we will be getting anything but a lot of pretty blooms, all male apparently, from the yellow squash I transplanted in mid August, but the bees are enjoying them. Last week, during a break in the thunderstorms, I watched a honey bee walk around inside one squash blossom, her head and half her body completely covered with pollen.

In the meantime, while we are waiting on our own Fall produce, we are enjoying lots and lots of locally grown veggies from the Cowtown Farmers Market.

Here is some of what is fresh and available this week this week:
Baby Vegetables
Garlic and Onion
Cucumbers: Picklers, Slicers
Lima Beans
Crenshaw, Israel, Honeydew
Onions: Red, White and Yellow

Last week I got asparagus, pears and a basket with a mix of slender zucchini and yellow squash, the trip before, tomatoes, lovely Touch of Lavender eggplants (they have many varieties), and more of the little squash. This weekend I found a recipe in a Mediterranean cookbook for zucchini fritters that look wonderful.

The market is open on Wednesday and Saturday. On Saturday they also have fresh bread and baked goods from a local baker, locally roasted coffee, and goat cheese from two nearby dairy farms. "Everything sold is either grown, raised or produced within 150 miles of Fort Worth."

(Photo note: Due to computer or camera or cable glitches, I cannot load my own photos to the computer, so these came from elsewhere: the plant pics from usda.gov and the farmers market photo was borrowed from their website...I don't think they'll mind.)

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