It’s been challenging getting into my garden to actually work. There are so many things that must be done that even the thought of going out to harvest was overwhelming. I stole from myself the opportunity to harvest another month of okra. I easily would have added a couple of gallons to the freezer. And maybe some to pickle as well. I should have delegated out the task to the tall twelve year old, as the stalks were well over 7 feet tall, but I didn’t think of it. My brain is slowly waking again.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve slowly regained the garden by walking out to pick tomatoes and peppers and a bit of kale, and while there I’d pull up a couple of feet in each row of okra. And the next time a little more. Until each row only had about 4 or 5 feet left to pull up.

And so Saturday I made a commitment to myself to get into the garden and finish pulling up the okra and to begin tackling whatever else the freeze had finished off. I didn’t expect to do much, but I also didn’t expect I’d cry.

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Look at all those vegetables. I know, it really doesn’t look like much. But it is. There are some huge (and very muddy) sweet potatoes. I chose to harvest them all because we’d had over 3 inches of rain the day before and I didn’t want them to rot. I don’t know that they would as I’ve never grown sweet potatoes before. But my instinct said to take them, so I did. And know what? I cried while I took those sweet potatoes from their mounds. Sweet potatoes are my favorite vegetable. I could not believe I had grown such a beautiful and delicious treat. Yes, I truly cried. Maybe the exhaustion from the stupid mono contributed, too, but that’s not the point.

 
And I harvested the first of our radishes and turnips and more peppers (habanero, jalapeno, and hot banana) and then those green tomatoes. And I went on to pull up the tomatoes, all 86 now dead plants. And the gourds. And a few of the non-producing pepper plants. There are still plenty of hot and bell peppers to be had if the night temps don’t drop much more.

And now, our garden looks bare.  There’s still kale, mustard greens, bibb lettuce, swiss chard, leaf lettuce, turnips, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli and cabbage in there with the peppers, but it just doesn’t look like it. But I love it. I truly love it. I just want to stare at it. And stare at it. And stare at it.

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So, I had to do something with these green tomatoes and a friend had suggested pickled green tomatoes. And so I pickled what I had, only three pints, adding hot peppers to two of the jars for my Husband to enjoy. While I had this brine made, I also pickled a couple of jars of hot peppers. I only had two pint jars and lids left, so that’s all I pickled. Must get more pint and quart jars. It seems I should buy stock in whatever conglomerate that owns Ball Canning and is currently being  occupied by the 99%.

I may not know the name of the corporation, but I do know that the vegetables occupying those jars are beautiful. And I want to sit and stare at them, too. But I can’t. We have company coming to dinner. Time to turn on my Gingham charm.

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