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The Garden Keeps Giving

 

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It’s nearly November, and yet we’re still finding fresh food in the garden every day.

George helped me pick some green tomatoes so I could make a batch of lacto-fermented pickles with them.

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I picked the last of the quince for the year and have membrillo simmering on the stove right now.  Can’t wait until it is ready to pour into a pan and set up and finally EAT.  Nothing goes better with a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon than membrillo with cheese and smoked-paprika-spiced crackers.

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Bea helped me dig a few sunchoke tubers for dinner later in the week.  Sunchokes are an easy-to-grow perennial food-crop that are ready late in the year.  They contain about 110 calories/cup and one serving contains 28% of your daily amount of iron.  They are also a good source of vitamin C and potassium.  Sunchokes also contain a lot of inulin, and while they are tasty sliced fried in ghee or bacon grease, they can cause gas in some people unless cooked for long periods of time.  The best way to prepare them that helps break down the inulin is to simmer them in the crockpot in chicken or veggie broth and then make a mash with other root veggies.

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Bea found an exceptionally large sunchoke while we were digging.  She was awfully proud of it.

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While I was cutting back some rhubarb plants – whose leaves are beginning to die back due to the cold night temperatures, I noticed one of the ground cherries nearby still going strong.  One quick shake and full cup of ripe fruit fell onto the ground.  We ate most, but I kept a few back in order to save the seeds.

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On Monday I picked over 50 lbs of pumpkins for Birch Community Services, but today I picked just a few for our family.  These are (my absolute favorite) Burgess Buttercup on the left, and on the right a kabocha-type variety whose seeds were gifted to me, which I want to say is Confection, but that might not be correct.  I look forward to trying the one on the right and seeing how it compares to the excellent texture and flavor of Burgess Buttercup.

I’m very grateful for this late-in-the-year gifts from the garden, and look forward to a few more weeks of nourishing foods and healing herbs from the garden before it is put to bed for the winter.

 

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