A time to plant, a time to sow.

;

Yes, I know, you’re all in “fall-mode” already. Me too. It’s hard not to be when Halloween has infiltrated every store & every blog (or Pinterest page) is pushing pumpkin desserts! And I’ve got those coming for you, too. But first there’s still some wrapping up to do when it comes to summer. Namely the garden.

Every year at this time, I start to dry my herbs. They continue growing until mid to late October, usually, unless it gets very cold at night very quickly. As do the peppers, sometimes. But the herbs usually get so large midway through the summer, that I end up cutting them back in late July and using most of them fresh (or freezing them). The rest I dry and add to my dried herb jars. Then I cut them back again in September. Drying fresh herbs is one of the easiest things to do, as is freezing them, and if you grow your own herbs I strongly suggest you do it! For cilantro, I suggest freezing it in olive oil. Basil is also good that way, as well as rosemary. You can freeze them in water, too, if you prefer. As far as drying them, there are, of course, quite a few different ways to do it… but this is what I do. I bought little jars from Ikea to store them in, but small Ball jars work too, as do cleaned out baby food jars. All you have to do is cut your herbs and give them a good shake outside to evict any unwanted tenants. Not cilantro, though, dried cilantro tastes nothing like fresh and it’s not really worth it. You’re better off freezing that. Anyhow, cut ’em down and give ’em a a shake or two… then give them a good rinse and let them dry overnight on a paper towel or clean dish towel. The next morning, tie the ends of each herb together to create a bunch, and tie with soft twine (or use a small rubber band). Place them in a brown paper lunch bag that you already labeled and “hang” them in it, gathering the top of the bag together around the bottom of the stems and tying it. Then hang the bags or place them in a cool, dry place for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, you’ll have dried herbs (if not, let them hang another week, there shouldn’t be any moisture left in them). Take them out of the bags and gently tug, pull or scrape the leaves of the herbs off the stems with your fingers. You can crumble the basil, oregano & parsley at this point, if you wish. Place them in your jars and label. Or, if you have non-edible lavender, use it in a sachet. All done!

;

Anyway… as you might have guessed, this is the last garden post of the season. Sad, yes. But each year it comes whether we like it or not. The good things far outweigh the bad: the fresh veggies that start to come in record numbers, the fresh herbs that grow like crazy, and the delicious meals, sauces & salsas that can come of them all.

;

Except this year.

;

This year I was lucky to get 8 Cajun Belle peppers, 4 SuperTasty Hybrid tomatoes and 1 Green Zebra tomato. That’s it. Of course, my herbs were huge and I got tons of use out of them all season, not to mention the pesto I’ll be making & freezing because my basil is taking over a small country. But my vegetables were not at all what they have been in the past. Why? I don’t know. The weather, maybe? I know the country is having the worst drought in two decades. But here in NY, it was a pretty wet summer (wetter than usual), but that flip-flopped from very very hot to very very wet almost constantly. The plants barely had time to dry out and recover from one storm by the time another one hit. Though really, I’m not sure. Maybe it was the crazy wind with all those severe thunderstorms (& tornadoes! WHAT?), maybe it was the really bad heat in between all that, maybe it was just me. My mind has been other places this summer, and I haven’t been as anal-retentive about keeping up with the gardening. I noticed some funky curly leaves on the tomatoes and I never even did anything about it. I haven’t weeded or used any fertilizer/plant food at all either. And maybe it was the fact that I chose heirloom tomatoes, not hardier disease-resistant ones this season. But regardless, no matter what the reason, that’s all I got so far. The “mystery plant” died sometime in mid-August, so I guess I’ll never know what it was (glad we weren’t taking bets!). Now my peppers & tomatoes will probably keep growing for a few more weeks, or at least until it gets too cold at night, but I doubt I’ll get much more out of them. Of course, if I end up with anything else, you’ll all read about it for sure. But basically, that was my bounty of 2012, and I was lucky to get it.

;

But it was still worth it. Each tomato or pepper is one more tomato or pepper I didn’t have to buy.

;

I cut those last three peppers off before they matured, because I wanted to use a variety of peppery heat in a dish I was making. The green tomato took forever to finish growing, it wasn’t done until last week. And the SuperTasty’s? Ugh. They were a struggle all season. Like I said, I could probably take some of the blame, if not most- I wasn’t 100% invested this year. But the weather was downright bizarre, so I’m just going to use that as my excuse. In all my years of having a veggie/herb garden, this is the first year my bounty was pathetic, so I guess I should be thankful. And the best part? Using fresh tomato slices from my own plant, and fresh oregano to make a fantastic light hot weather dinner: a tomato feta open-face sandwich, using one of my SuperTasty hybrid tomatoes & both kinds of fresh oregano.

;

I feel almost silly for writing up the recipe for this, it’s so easy, but epicurious.com did too, so I’m in good company. This is a good way to enjoy the fruits of your garden on a really hot, sticky late summer night. Or a slightly warm early fall evening.

TOMATO-FETA OPEN FACE SANDWICH (from epicurious.com)

Ingredients:

  • Thick slices of white bread (Pullman loaf is ideal)
  • Olive oil (good quality oil meant for eating)
  • Tomato slices
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Slabs or crumbles of feta
  • Fresh oregano

Directions:

  1. Lightly toast thick slices of white bread, then drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Add tomato slices, salt and freshly ground black pepper, slabs of feta, fresh oregano, and more oil.
  3. Eat!

I bet this sandwich would look delightful with different colored heirloom tomatoes, and it would probably be amazing with blue cheese or Gorgonzola crumbles too. Noms.

PSST... SHARE THIS:
Facebook Twitter Email

26 comments

  1. Shailendra Sequoia India

    I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough
    for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be much more useful than ever before.

  2. Shailendra Singh Sequoia Capital India

    I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone
    else encountering issues with your site. It appears like some of
    the text on your content are running off the screen. Can someone
    else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as
    well? This may be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had
    this happen previously. Many thanks

  3. sfdsf

    I was extremely pleased to find this page. I wanted
    to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!!
    I definitely loved every little bit of it and I have you saved
    to fav to see new things in your blog.

  4. personal injury lawyer tips2008

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog
    post or vice-versa? My site discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you might be interested feel free to send me an e-mail.

    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  5. instagram privacy

    Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to know a lot about this,
    like you wrote the e-book in it or something. I think that you just
    can do with some % to pressure the message home a little bit, however instead of that, that is great blog.
    A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  6. Macfarlane Group Curry

    That is really interesting, You’re an excessively professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to in the hunt for more
    of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  7. respective attorney

    This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking
    more of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  8. Shailendra Singh Sequoia India

    I do agree with all the ideas you’ve offered for your post.
    They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are
    too brief for newbies. May you please extend them a little from subsequent time?
    Thank you for the post.

  9. gastric sleeve diet

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.

    When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has
    some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick
    heads up! Other then that, awesome blog!

  10. home health care

    Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You
    have done a outstanding job!

  11. hi

    This is really interesting, You are an overly professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your
    fantastic post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks

  12. heated hair curlers

    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.
    Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  13. data entry jobs

    Having read this I believed it was very informative.

    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this informative article
    together. I once again find myself personally spending
    way too much time both reading and leaving comments.

    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  14. Ilse

    Hello to every body, it’s my first go to see of this blog; this weblog contains awesome and in fact fine
    information in favor of visitors.

  15. podcast listeners

    You can certainly see your expertise within the work you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe.
    All the time go after your heart.

  16. aspalmg57vr3

    [url=http://albuterol-sulfate-inhalation-solution.science/]price of albuterol inhaler[/url] [url=http://furosemide.men/]furosemide[/url] [url=http://indocin.website/]indomethacin 25 mg[/url]

  17. Macfarlane Group Curry

    Can I just say what a relief to uncover someone that actually understands what they’re discussing on the net.

    You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people ought to check this out and understand this side of your
    story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular given that you surely possess the gift.

Post a comment

You may use the following HTML:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>