Land Of Plenty-Past

Fellow Tennessee blogger and good friend Tina over at In The Garden had the good idea of showing our produce a few days after bloom day. I can see that in the winter months this might be a small showing, but even now things are really coming to an end in the food growing department. We had a so so year, the drought playing a big part in that. Some things were tried for the first time, including the golden raspberries shown above. They have put on new growth and even more berries with the cooler temps and a little more rain. These are so sweet, I eat them right in the garden.

We planted six everblooming strawberry plants in late winter this year. The berries were luscious and none made it into the house but were popped into the mouth while still warm from the sun. Oooh, baby, there is nothing better and if juice drips down your chin, you get bonus points. These plants have become many with their runners so we are expecting huge numbers next year. Other family members might even get some.

Another success was the four jalapeno plants. We have always planted this type of pepper for we love spicy food. No matter the lack of rain or poor soil they might have been stuck in the early days of veggie gardening here, the crop has always been bumper. They start bearing early and will continue into November when the peppers will turn red.

First time growing for us were the cucumbers, planted as seeds into the ground the two plants have given us many fine meals and many jars of pickles. Towards the end of the season we have noticed these little mounds of excavated cucumber flesh resting on the spiky skin. This is a worm that tunnels through the fruits and I am sick of dealing with them. The cukes can be soaked in salt water and the worms will come crawling out, but really, yuck! Time to compost these plants.

The yellow patio tomatoes, this one is Golden Gem, outproduce all other types of tomatoes by leaps and bounds. My theory about this is that the species tomato is a small yellow one and is just a more vigorous plant than the reds, large or small. Normally we grow the yellow pears, but tried this one this year and noticed that there was not the cracking and splitting that the others were prone to. A big improvement.

We tried several heirloom tomatoes including Brandywine, Cherokee Purple and Black Krim. The last one gave us the best and most fruit. We also grew Park’s Improved Whopper and that one is still bearing. The tomatoes are not as large, but they are numerous, and very long fruiting, still giving us nice looking produce.

There are always tomato plants that come up in odd places in the garden.They are usually small ones but this plant appeared next to the new rose on the arbor, Madame Alfred Carriere. Maybe it was in the pot that was shipped from the Antique Rose Emporium, but the tomatoes are nice sized and tasty. This group is on a branch down by the ground and hidden from the pesky birds that like to poke holes in my nice food crop. HA to you birds!

Radish seeds have been planted for the fall crops. In just a couple of days we have germination. Also planted on that day were carrots, beets, arugula and some saved seeds harvested from our terrific crop of sugar snap peas. The peas are up as well.

The big finale is the carrot harvest. We had made a two foot high planter box and filled it with chopped leaves, bagged compost and soil conditioner and our favorite additive, Black Kow. Our regular soil is clay with assorted stones. Even our best soil is not good for carrot production. While the carrots look good, the taste was disappointing. Maybe we left them in the ground too long, I was waiting for them to poke their necks out to let us know when to pull them. We won’t be growing those again.

Another crop that looks to be bumper this year is shown above. While they could be eaten by humans, none are ever available to us. This photo was taken with the zoom for these fruits are very high above the ground. Last year’s drought caused the production of these walnuts to be numerous. The squirrels will have to go into overtime to get them all buried and then forgotten. Massive digging will be done in the garden by the squirrel workers trying to locate their prizes. Arghhh!


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18 Responses to Land Of Plenty-Past

  1. LindaLunda says:

    Hi Frances!

    Hi Linda, grattis on finding a fellow ceramic worker. I will have to check her out!

  2. Gisele says:

    So many nice and yummy fruits and vegetables! You could open a farmer’s market!

    Hi Gisele, thanks, great minds think alike! (Gisele did a veggie post today too.)

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Hi Frances, I love your new blog look with WordPress. I also am glad that since you chose the black background that you made the text larger and a bright color so it is easily read. I have such difficulty reading text on black backgrounds when it is small and white. I feel like I have had a workout reading a blog with that small white on black.

    Too bad your carrots didn’t do well. As you said they look pretty.

    Hi Lisa, thanks for coming over, I missed seeing your smiling face. I have to jump through hoops to get the font larger and colored, but it is getting easier to remember the code the more it gets done. The font that comes with this theme is very small, why I don’t know, it doesn’t make sense to make a blog hard to read. About the carrots, the photo came out better than the eating.

  4. ourfriendben says:

    Great post, Frances, and what a fabulous persimmon harvest. Persimmon bread! Persimmon cookies! Are we jealous! Our hot pepper plants outdid themselves this year, too, and we had bumper crops of pears, peaches, and butternut squash (our volunteer vine was working overtime). Our black walnuts have literally been the size of tennis balls for the past two years—it makes walking the dog a terrifying experience, since if one fell on your head you’d be in the emergency room! Last year, I thought that must mean a horrific winter, but not so, so now I’m just bemused. Big crop of butternuts and shagbark hickory nuts, as well. And elderberries! We had a fabulous spring for greens here—the arugula and luttuces were fantastic—but it didn’t occur to me to replant for fall. Thanks for the suggestion! Guess I’d better get out there and get to it!

    Hi OFB, thanks. I was wondering where you got the idea that I had persimmons and then looked at the post. You are going to LOL, the header photo is a close up of winterberry holly berries from I. ‘Winter Gold’! I am the one who is jealous of your great harvest though. Pears and peaches would make me very happy. The elderberries get eaten immediately by the birds, they even fight over them. We are hoping for some nice fall greens though, and maybe sugar snap peas, yum!

  5. tina says:

    I love it all! The raspberries and carrots especially. Now I will know to try carrots in a box as I have NEVER grown them successfully:( The orange tomatoes look delish! They must match the orange raspberries pretty good. I need to plant some radishes soon as I am behind. No rain no gardening. Water bill is too high so I have to stop watering. Maybe someone can figure out how to crack those black walnuts someday. Ike knocked a bunch down here. Pecans are also falling. This is a perfect day to post veggies. Gisele also posted some lovely ones. I feel fall in the air. And most importantly, thanks for the very nice opening of “fellow Tennessee blogger and good friend”. It is nice knowing you too!

    Hi Tina, thanks. You know I love the color orange, LOL. That little rain we had last weekend, three quarters of an inch was just enough to get the seeds germinating, the cooler temps help too. It does feel like fall. I have been working hard cutting back the evergreens that are blocking the paths along the veggie garden, I have to be able to walk by there and plant! I know someone who used to run over their walnuts and hickory nuts with their car. I assume they put them in a bag or something so the meats wouldn’t get dirty. And I do consider you my good friend. ;->

  6. nancybond says:

    Mmm…everything looks delicious, except for those cukes, perhaps. 🙂 This must have been a good year for Jalapenos! Our three plants are bent with the weight of the peppers – they’re as long as yours, but not as plump, and now that weather has turned colder, I don’t know how much more filling out they’ll do. I’d bring them inside except the ants LOVE them! They can stay outside. 🙂

    Hi Nancy, thanks. The cukes are getting pulled today. Yuck. Ants inside, my worst nightmare! Leave them out. I have found they can take light frost too.

  7. walk2write says:

    All kinds of delicious things are showing up on blogs today. I just finished reading a posting about pumpkin soup that sounds wonderful. Those green tomatoes remind me of my mother-in-law’s canned green tomato relish, which used to be one of my favorite condiments in the winter. This year has been a frustrating one for me because I have not been able to plant or harvest anything edible, except for a few strawberries this spring when I was home for a visit. Maybe next year will be a more fruitful one for me. Anyway, I’m enjoying visiting everyone else’s garden and getting a peek at the goodies.

    Hi Walk2write, thanks. This is the first year that I have really devoted more effort to growiing food and will continue from now on. It is so gratifying to go out and pick something for dinner, even if it is just chives or basil. There is something in the air that makes me want to start cooking, but that would mean I would have to leave the laptop in the lazyboy! LOL

  8. Gail says:

    Hi Frances, I know nada about growing fruits and vegetables and enjoy reading about them. Pickles, tomatoes, peppers, radish, raspberries, strawberries, even a few plants have been grown for the compost pile! It’s all wonderful looking. Did I see red sorrel or is that chard? I love chard lightly sauted.

    Hi Gail, thanks. Swiss chard it is, one of the prettiest food crops around. I have been lax in harvesting it for consumption, but it grows all winter too so is easy to get fresh. Maybe you need to cut down some of those trees! ;->

  9. Hi Frances… Lots of good eats there in your garden. I’m still getting some tomtoes, all kinds of pepperrs but long ago the squash vine borers killed off the cucumber vines. It’s nearing the end in my garden, though I have thoughts of a cold frame to extend the lettuce season well into fall.

    Off topic, your new blog looks great, the orange on black is easy to read, but these tiny litle white comments are a bit harder to see. Any chance you can increase the font size on them or change the color?

    Hi Carol, thanks. So far changing the comment font is not an option. I am lucky to have figured out the text in the post. I will see if there is something I can do. I didn’t know it was like that since I read the comments on another page that lets me edit them. I did read some forums where people were asking for changes and they said they might consider it later on. It seems strange to make things so hard to read.

    added: I have purchased the right to change all the fonts, etc. However since I don’t know what I’m doing things may look a little odd around here until I learn some more code!

  10. Racquel says:

    Great harvest of veggies this year Frances. It looks like even with the drought most of your crops did good. Carrots are a hard crop for me too, I have the same hard clay soil. 🙂 I love the new header, so autumn like. I plan on growing Jalapenos next year, my eldest son/husband love them. 🙂 Me not so much.

    Hi Racquel, thanks. I had high hopes for the carrots and was really excited when they looked so good when I pulled them. But the taste was blah, maybe it was the drought. I will not use precious space for them again. Well, I did plant one row for a fall crop and some beets too. Maybe the cooler temps will produce better tasting produce. Jalapenos are the easiest peppers ever, plant them and forget them. I pickled some this year but have not tried them out yet.

  11. Cameron says:

    Oh gosh, you’ve made me so hungry! LOL Got to head out to the farmers’ market to see what produce is ready this week. I’ve never tried/seen golden raspberries. I guess I’ve not lived, huh? Cameron

    Hi Cameron, thanks. Good wholesome food from the farmer’s market is always a treat. The golden raspberries were ordered from Park’s this year. I think they are called ‘Anne’.

  12. Skeeter says:

    Great looking harvest Frances! You will see my treats on Saturday along with Tina’s… We had a walnut tree in our front yard while growing up in TN. We kids would use a hammer on the sidewalk to crack the nuts. The nuts would entertain us for hours upon hours! LOL, doubt a kid would spend time on nut cracking today. Squirrels loved the walnuts. We stopped by the old house while on my last visit home and I saw that old tree. He is still standing tall next to the Ginkgo…

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. I had this ready so went ahead with it. We used to have pecan trees in the neighborhood in Oklahoma where I grew up and we did the same thing with a hammer. If turned my hands orange from the hulls! I have saved the walnuts and boiled them to make dye for my baskets back when I was making baskets that is. We go by our old house in TN also, the garden has really grown!

  13. Gail says:

    Frances, I have thought bout cutting down a few trees! There are one or two or more that I wouldn’t miss! Gail

    Hi Gail, that is one way to get enough sun to grow some veggies. ;->

  14. A great post, Frances – lovely to see the produce.

    You asked on my blog about the hardiness of Schizostylis – I’m afraid I’m a bit ignorant about hardiness zones, but I found this link:
    Hope it helps!
    Kind regards,

    Hi Happy, thanks for that link. I will check out whether that is a plant that would winter over. I have never even heard of it, but think it is wonderful.

  15. Siria says:

    Hi Frances! Do you ever sleep? Your veggies are awesome. I always have opted for the Farmer’s Market instead, but one of these days I will have to try growing something other than herbs. Those golden rasberries are beautiful and look delicious!
    By the way, for whatever reason the font in the comments section of your post if very large today. I guess you have been tweeking things because the font in your post seems to be changing every time I look at it.
    Also, in case you have not seen it, voting for the Blog Asheville Awards has started and runs through Sept. 24th.

    Hi Siria, thanks. I do try and get my eight hours a night, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I can highly recommend those golden raspberries, ordered from Park’s, called Anne. As for the look of the fonts, etc., I have purchased the right to fool with the style sheet and have no idea what I’m doing. I was trying to make the comments larger and ended up making everything too big, that is when your comment came in, sorry. Hang on for a wild ride as far as the fonts and colors go, I like to experiment! Thanks for letting me know about the voting. Christopher had a link in his post but the voting wasn’t up yet when I checked it out, very early this morning.

  16. tina says:

    Thanks Frances! You know I tried running mine over, boiling them, roasting them, soaking them, you name it. No luck. Just not worth the work for the walnuts. You are like me in the garden, we like those warm colors and I love orange too. I am really commenting because you changed the font again. It is a pretty nice change, easy to see for sure.

    Hi Tina, thanks for noticing. As I told Siria, I went ahead and paid for the honor of changing the font size and color. I could have probably found a way to have larger comments, but for $15 a year can now change everything. Now all I have to do is learn how. Trial and error, as with everything else! Check back often, the colors are a changing. ;->

  17. Brenda Kula says:

    I don’t know how you grow such a lush garden, but I’m watching everything you do from here on out. I want to eat like you obviously get to! I love, love your new site!

    Hi Brenda, I don’t know either but thanks. We used to say there was something about the soil and climate here in southeast TN, you could stick something in the ground, ignore it for years and when a little weeding was done, it would be there thriving. The climate has changed and our high rainfall has been drought for two years, but some of the stuff still grows in spite of the gardener or the rain. Keep watching the new site, there might be changes daily! ;->

  18. Barbee' says:

    Well, you have done well with your trial and error efforts, it looks great and easy to read. Love it!

    Hi Barbee, thanks. So glad it is easy to read, that was priority number one, but it sure took some trials and errors to get there. ;->

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