[gardeners] This week

Margaret Lauterbach (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Tue, 15 Sep 1998 08:53:11 -0600

things are quiet on the list now.  I trust you're all harvesting like mad,
preparing for the coming frosts.  I've picked all of the colored tomatoes
from my big patch, and now have to strain muscles to pick more cucumbers,
then harvest eggplants.  Unfortunately I ran into several packets of
eggplant parmesan in the freezer, so I won't make that again this year, but
will have to stuff and bake a large zucchini and make eggplant moussaka to
freeze.  I don't like lamb, never have, so I use ground beef instead.
(Question: why is it that lamb is very expensive at meat counters but it's
in most pet foods?  Are they using sheep afflicted with scrapie (BSE?) for
pet foods?  I don't feed my dog that stuff).  

Then I'll have to harvest a cabbage and see if it tastes any good after a
summer of scorching temps.  Last spring Ed Hume gave a lecture in Boise, at
which he demonstrated how to keep cabbage from going to seed.  Take its
"face" in both hands and twist 1/4 to 1/2 turn.  I did, and I have two or
three large heads sitting there.  And after that, it's don surgical gloves
to harvest hot chiles.  

I was given some heirloom beans late in the spring when nearly all parts of
the garden were planted, and I failed to ask if these were bush beans.  I
planted them in a tight space, and when they began wandering, we put up a
hasty makeshift fence.  Now vines, wire and one pole are on the ground, and
the beans are nigh impossible to pick.  But they are outstanding in flavor!
 Wow!  If I can beat the voles to mature pods, I'll more than happily save
seeds.  Put up a proper trellis next year.  

We've given away a ton or so of Bartlett pears, and have a good supply of
Asian pears too.  I finally picked the last of the Elberta peaches
yesterday, and now I'm faced with golden delicious apples dropping from
high in the tree in the front yard and good-tasting apples dropping from
the tree in the back yard.  Can't remember whether that's a Fuji or a
Criterion.  The latter, I think.  Worms in most, but a lot of my teeth are
capped anyway, so I cut up apples for eating.  Usually our autumns see a
few nights of light freezes, then an Indian summer that can't be equalled.
After a few weeks of that, we start into winter with a vengeance.  One of
our minus 25 degree times occurred in November.  After about a week of
sub-zero temps it warmed up, and the rest of the winter was quite moderate.

Speaking of which, why in the world do the news media keep talking about
the icy waters off Iceland?  I "met" a fellow on another list who's in
Iceland, and that country has a very temperate climate.  We're so
brainwashed to think it's like the North Pole that I even looked it up in
the encyclopedia.  Annual mean air temperature at Reykjavik is 3.9 degrees
C (39 degrees F.), the mean temp in January is minus 1.2 degrees C (29.8
degrees F.) and in July it's 10.9 degrees C (51.6 degrees F).  Chilly, but
not icy.  

Must have been a cheeky cat crossing the deck.  Dog wanted out in the worst
way, and he really spun rubber getting across the deck.  Actually, he could
use some help controlling voles, but he'd never admit it.  Margaret