- Rosemary and apricots were made for each other.
- Whey is the liquid you get when you strain plain yogurt or raw milk and you can use it to ferment salsa so you can eat it for months to come.
- When saving tomato seeds (via fermenting in water to help remove their gelatinous coating), it is possible to leave them in the water too long to the point where they start sprouting. Seed saving fail.
- If you don’t harvest your kale (or chard or lettuce) at the first sign of edible leaves, they get bigger.
- Roasting tomatoes for freezing is a hell of a lot easier than blanching, peeling, and coring tomatoes for canning.
- Potato towers are pretty neat, but didn’t really provide me with the bounty I was expecting. I think I’ll stick to the garbage can method from now on.
- Eggplants: Do over.
- Brussel sprouts: Do over.
- Butternut squash: Even worth it? I love them, but they didn’t work again. I’m wondering if these are better left to my local farmers.
- Gross out alert! It’s normal to see blood in your chickens’ poop every once in a while. They’re sloughing off parts of their intestinal walls, so don’t freak out about it like I did. I guess a little overreaction is to be expected after the chicken debacle I had this summer.
- Raspberry vinegar is a good thing. The only problem was that I discovered that at the end of the season. And raspberry shrub is totally happening this fall.
- Tomato jam must happen again. Every summer. And the fact that you can make it with almost any tomato, including cherry, makes it even more amazing.
- Determinate tomatoes (non-vining) need a lot more space than the indeterminates I usually grow. SprawlingÂ vines mean tomatoes practically grow on the ground…not good.Â I will take a pass on those next season.
- The terraces in my backyard make the most of my small space, but I’ve got to keep in mind how plants on one terrace might shade another. I’m thinking that might have contributed to the lack of success I had (and powdery mildew) with my cucurbits this season. I’m going to keep working on this theory.
- Planting fall seeds in the shade of spent spring brassicas is genius. I purposely left my aphid-ridden Brussel sprouts in a little longer because of the shade their leaves were providing my fall seed beds. My fall garden is thriving this year!
What lessons did you learn in your garden this summer?
Photo by Jenn Ireland