must be fall


IMG_0466 (1024x768) everything is turning yellow/orange!

the big tomato will turn quite a lovely orange and they are delicious. the small tomatoes are yellow plums. Both are heirlooms that I keep going every year.  The pepper is a lovely dark yellow and they have been delicious.  store bought seedlings, so doubt that they are heirloom and won’t be saving.

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just off the needles

and out of the washing machine

had bought this novelty yarn for the purposes of making a shawl. it is GALAXI, made in Spain, 3 x 100 gram balls.  Wanted a narrow, long shawl. first made a big rookie error on gauge and it was turning out to be wider than I wanted.  Would have ended up with a small (about 36”) nearly square.  Since the nature of the yarn made it difficult to unravel, set aside the piece that was started and took the needles and cast on 1/2 as many stitches as were in the original piece (50 to the 100) and knit in pattern.  Then sewed the edges together and finished it as a VERY WIDE piece.  Threw it into the washing machine this morning, but hanging it up to dry.  color is true in the first two outdoor pictures, shifted in the “model” ones.  it was knit on #13 needles, garter stitch for the lacy effect alternated { K2tog, yo } – knitting the next row- with {k1,yo} = knitting the next row, dropping the yo.  finished project about 52” wide and 17” long

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making yogurt

Had been off yogurt for awhile, but after paying the big $$ for some organic at the health food store last week, decided it was time to make my own again. this time was not so careful, not so persnickety about the details. Just dumped a quart of organic 2% milk into a pot on the stove on low heat (Using a simmer mat to prevent scorching) for several hours. added some non fat dry milk to thicken. stirred well, let heat a little longer and then set off to cool while we had lunch. After lunch the milk had cooled to probably about 100F degrees. mixed in some of that yogurt I’d bought and poured it into containers and put it into the dehydrator to sit at about 120F. Forgot about it until 6-1/2 hours later. into the fridge it went. This morning checked it out. Firm, smooth, delicious.

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Asian greens

Local garden center has been offering various Asian greens. Got some seedlings of Tokyo Bekana:

Small Chinese Cabbage, Tokyo Bekana

This is a Japanese version of Small Chinese Cabbage. Yellowish-green, frilled leaves and white flat petioles are excellent for stir-fry and soup. This fast-growing vegetable is very easy to grow all year round, excellent for home garden growing.

and have just harvested seeds from some Komatsuna I’d gotten in the spring:


An unlikely relative of the turnip family, this large leafy green is grown almost exclusively in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Komatsuna gets its name from the Komatsugawa district, which includes Edogawa, Katsushika and Adachi wards. Tokyo was the second-largest regional producer of komatsuna in 2004. It is also called spinach mustard, Komatsuna has dark green leaves that are rich in calcium and often quite glossy. They can be harvested at any stage and prepared like spinach in the early stages and more like cabbage as they mature. The flavor grows stronger and hotter the longer the leaves mature. This versatile green can be stir-fried, pickled, boiled and added to soups or used fresh in salads.

Both are easy to grow and add flavor variety. Of course, we’re still growing a lot of brasilica, but they are tasty!

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late september update

After all, this IS an online garden journal –

Today planted some store bought broccoli seedlings . . mine weren’t doing so well.  They went into the main garden bed.  Took some seeds from a little bag that says “red leaf lettuce” and planted them into a six pack.  they are a different shape and type seed from those that were in a commercial (seeds of change) envelope – also planted in a six pack.  and some mesclun salad greens into a planter.

The “red leaf lettuce” seeds may be rapini – a red leave turnip.  Have convinced Jim to try FRESH turnips this year (if that is what I have planted).  Just as everything else tastes better fresh from the garden, bet he’ll find turnips to be the same.  am trying to expand our veggie diet.

Am also starting to collect the terra cotta pieces to make OLLAS for next summer growing season.  Right now, the best choice seems to be those old terra cotta wine coolers!

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not so easy vest

Inspired by a super easy vest to make, devised this pattern.  Nothing fancy.  Just a back, knit round to sides and then a long piece for the front connecting sides to top back.  I’m not keen on sewing my knits, always seem to make them too tight. Would rather Knit them together and the first time I did this sweater it was all knit.  and it was not very good.  Basically because I’d miscalculated the arm holes – which I seem to do a lot – and they hung open to about my waist!  The stockinet stitch I’d used for the back and sides had too much ease and combined between being too big and stretching out – just too much.  This time I did the back in stockinet, the sides in garter, using short rows to allow more at the hips than at the bust, then just did a long scarf in stockinet which I sewed it.  Used some more short rows around the neck so the outer edge would spread rather than be tucked in tight around my neck.

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The yarn is Cascade’s Tangier, 50% silk, 16% cotton, 17% acrylic, and 17% viscoise. the color is #7, Tapestry.  It took about 250 grams, which is 2-1/2 skeins, about 550 yards.

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celebrating the harvest

Today is the fall equinox, but also known as Mabon, the second harvest celebration.  and while we celebrate the bounty of the harvest pretty much every day here, today will make a special effort to include, and with special thanks, these many gifts. 

Yesterday’s supper was pasta with a sauce made from the first of the Kale and some of the last of the Roma tomatoes (plus bacon, onion, and garlic)

IMG_0446 (1024x768)Dinner today will include these newly harvested potatoes, and some of the last of the green beans, along with a slow cooked brisket.  Desert will be an apple crisp with just harvested Rhubarb.

IMG_0444 (1024x768) This is the first of the sweet peppers.  not entirely ripe (that’s not a blemish, just a bit of dried on leaf), but was too impatient to wait any longer.

The garden was very productive this year in general.  The bush beans did better the first part of the summer, the first planting producing alone about as much as I’ve gotten from the second, third and fourth plantings combined.  Pole beans did not do well at all.  Peppers grew taller and produced better than ever!  Ditto with the eggplant.  Right now, the basil is coming back strong after having been totally overgrown through much of the summer by zucchini.  Would have liked to have more zucchini, but when growing for the year, there never seems to be enough!  same with the beans.  Tried Kale for the first time this year, and wasn’t sure how it would go over, but FRESH from the garden is much better than those big tough leaves they sell at market. 

The fall garden is still a bit iffy as we are getting some hot days, and its less than 30 days to first frost!  Will plant more lettuce seeds today and mesclun greens.  hopefully have enough lettuce to get us to the Solstice and then any young seedlings should begin to take off.

So I offer thanks for these great blessings, too numerous to list and wish you all equal abundance and good fortune!

Posted in container gardening, gardening, greenhouse, greens, homesteading, legumes, peppers, potatoes, preserving, self-reliance, squash, tomatoes, Uncategorized | Leave a comment