[gardeners] In the garden

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 1 Oct 1997 19:39:58 -0500 (CDT)

The fall cucumbers are bearing like gang busters thanks to the many
pollinators who have been appreciating our cool nights and warm (hot) days.
The shallots are starting to bulb a little and we harvest some daily to eat
as is or to cook with. The okra is still producing and I offer this tip for
those that haven't tried it. When your okra starts getting really tall,
about six foot, and slows down on producing fruit, you will probably notice
some side shoots just above the ground. Cut the main stalk off just above
the shoots and the shoots will begin to produce prolifically. We've done
this for years and manage to keep the okra bearing here in Zone 9b up until
our first frost, which is generally January and rarely earlier. The peppers
are still producing very well and the bells are starting to make larger
fruit as the cool evenings lengthen. I have chopped and frozen 10 quarts of
sweet peppers plus we've probably eaten that many. Six bags of hot chiles of
various types have been frozen for the kids, daughter-in-law loves them.
Took out the last of the eggplant two days ago and made a large batch of
caponata and froze it in pint containers. Tomatillos are finally bearing and
I just picked two, count 'em two, Cape gooseberries, won't try those again.
The basil still hasn't gone to seed and needs cutting again as does the
oregano, Greek and Spanish. Haven't tried to dehydrate any Puerto Rican
oregano as yet but may try freezing it for use in Caribbean dishes. What can
I say about the various thymes? Just that they are muy prolifico and we use
a lot of thyme. Had lemon thyme chicken tonight and a salad tossed with
rosemary vinegar. My 5 oz portion was sufficient but could have eaten more.
Tomorrow is another day and I think I'll plant something, harvest something,
and preserve something. Life is good.