There is a hard frost warning for tonight so we have been harvesting like crazy the last two days in order to preserve as much of the cool season crops (and the last of the summer produce) as possible. It is not so unusual to have a frost at this point in the fall but we had such a long run last year without a frost that we got spoiled with the harvest lasting well into November. We clearly remember still picking spinach the week before Thanksgiving since we enjoyed it so much! So Dave has been out in the fields harvesting for hours and I’ve been washing and putting it all away as fast as I can. Since there is still so much out there to try to protect tonight, he is devising some “blankets” and we just installed our portable cold frame for the more delicate plants. Things like the carrots and turnips won’t be affected much but most of the leafy veggies will not be happy.
The good news to report is that we will surely be over 1600 lbs of produce for 2013 after these last two days. Although the tomatoes will still ripen (very slowly and without as much flavor), we may be stirring up some fried green tomatoes in the next couple of days!
I spent the morning clearing out the potted annuals that were on the back terrace. I do this with mixed feelings since by this time of year I’m tired of watering and caring for them but it seems as if we lose all the color that we enjoy so much. I often include various sweet potato vines in my plantings so it is always fun to uncover the ‘potatoes’ produced by the plants. Here is the out come from one of this year’s pots. What an interesting mix of shapes and colors.
Other fun things have been happening in the last couple of days at Seven Oaks. The last driveway pour was completed last week and the crew acid washed it and have now sealed it as well. It should be drive-able tomorrow! It was good that they did this since the leaves (and acorns) are beginning to fall and it becomes a bit trickier to get this just right with all of the debris plus the chilly temps we are currently experiencing. We are waiting to have the edging stones that need to be re-placed to be put into their spots around the beds. We will cheer when this gets done! In fact, here is an advance cheer if it helps….YEAH! They plan to be out tomorrow to do this final work.
Since most of the concrete/masonry construction is finished, we are now in the midst of planning the new planting beds at the rear of the back terrace which will flank the new steps and out door kitchen. I met with our horticulturist, Mary Ellen, and the arborist, Jon, yesterday afternoon to review the plans and keep this part of the project going forward. We met during the slightest bit of a chilly rain sprinkle and wouldn’t you know, we were greeted by another wonderful rainbow that I just had to capture with my camera.
The other fun thing that happened yesterday was the final installation of the outdoor gas grill. Our very favorite plumber/friend Mule, arrived first thing yesterday morning to hook up the gas to the grill. In addition to brewing his own craft beer, he also knows a thing or two about grilling so he was able to help me through some of the set up details with our grill. I asked him if he would pose for a pic and he was okay with that. So here he is lighting the first round of flames! Thanks, Mike/Mule!
He and his family like the veggies we grow so I made sure he was laden with some goodies before he left! He has been one of our pickle testers, so I added a jar of pickles to his sack for both his family and his mother, Joyce. I will look forward to feedback on those!
So with the new outdoor grilling area up and running (the electricians came after Mike and finished up their end of things) so we were hot on the trail of something to grill last night. Dave made a run to Sam’s for some shrimp to use with our favorite shrimp recipe and I marinated it all day and put it on the ‘barbie’ last night along with some of our eggplant. Here it is cooking away. It was yummy and there is plenty left for another taste tonight!