Growing Your Own – Just a Little Longer

Here in Bear River, Nova Scotia, the deadly night frost arrived  a couple of weeks ago and that was the end of tomatoes, beans and zinnia for this year!

Oh, it is a sad thing when our growing season comes to an end. I love being able to walk outside and pick a salad, harvest some supper. Oh well, all is not lost!

Why?

The North side of the  greenhouse is attached to my art studio. This bit of protection has saved it from being blown away by storms. The water collection off the roof irrigates the greenhouse.

We have a ‘season extender’. We have an 8″ x 8″ greenhouse that is 5 years old and, at this point, held together in places with duct tape.

I love my little greenhouse. It’s a great place to start spring seedlings and it certainly is earning its keep right now, in early October,  by growing kale, parsley, lettuce, snow peas and some cherry tomatoes.

The snow peas look gorgeous right now…I do hope I haven’t left this experiment too late for the flowering and producing part.


Fortunately, there are still a few hardy crops outside in the raised beds that can weather some frost, namely kale and leeks. We’ve been eating the best shredded kale salad .

Red and green curly kale. This type won’t winter over like the russian kale does, but I like it’s compact leaves. It’s easy to take off a few leaves for harvest while allowing the plant to continue growing upwards.
I planted these beets and lettuce and chard in mid August as an experiment. The beets are fully formed so next year I will try them in succession.

 

Leeks improve their ‘sweetness’ after a frost. I can harvest these until mid November and plan to pull, chop and freeze for winter cooking.

Leek-zucchini-tomato soup is a favorite of mine that we’ve been eating for years. Unfortunately I can’t find the recipe for you in spite of spending the last half hour searching online and through my cookbooks. I’ll have to write it down the next time I make it.

It’s been a good season, complete with challenges, setbacks and a chance to learn more.

There are the same two lessons that I learn every year., namely that it is a great feeling to eat the food you have grown yourself and to know how fresh and unadulterated it is. AND, I have such respect and admiration for our farmers who do this for a living. It’s a lot of work and it’s so very important.

The final tomatoes 2 weeks ago. I roasted them and froze the sauce.
Bringing in the harvest.

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