around the farm

loved digging potatoes this weekend with my barefoot little boy. i have heard predictions of a cold wet fall here in the pnw, and my under-the-spruce-tree potatoes were planted under straw… so rather than store them in the “ground” until the last before-frost minute, and risk competition from roly-polies and fungus and mold, i figured we’d dig them up now. i had a chance (between scattered showers) to do a lot of “putting it to bed” steps in the garden, picked a lot of tomatoes to add to the tomato still life on my windowsills, brought in the last of the popcorn ears and sunflower heads. quinn and i both had our first experience with fried green tomatoes last night- yum! i dipped mine in chimmichurri sauce (a recipe from my dear friend susan who should have a food blog). parsley and cilantro, featured in the sauce, are still going strong, if maybe a tiny bit slower growing right now. parsley is such an unsung hero here in the coastal growing ecosystem. i used a lot of it in a few soups i canned this weekend (all featuring tomatoes of course) as well as some homegrown purple celery, and some smallish spring-planted garlic.

oh, and for the record, the potatoes under the spruce are beee-you-ti-ful, though i wouldn’t call it a bumper crop. that one large specimen (the one that is the size of quinn’s head) was an outlier, most were smallish, but hey, i got something besides ivy to grow under that tree, fairly effortlessly (i don’t even have to wash off dirt! and between the straw mulch, the shade of the tree, and just plain neglect, i’m not sure i ever watered them…) so i’m satisfied. cover croppy things and probably some fava beans are going in there now, hoping to occupy that space so the ivy doesn’t take back over.

tomato season isn’t all the way over yet, i left quite a few out on the vines to see if they will ripen, and crowded some of the cherry tomatoes (which are mostly in buckets) in one sunny area of the yard, and am covering them up at night with a tarp. i also pruned all tomatoes way back to where there are fruits, so the plants will stop putting energy out into making new green stuff and flowers. i couldn’t bring myself to do this any sooner, but now it felt like just the right time. i have taken a lot of pictures lately of my hand holding cherry tomatoes of various rainbow colors.

my “around the farm” posts were originally inspired by sara at farmama, and it sounds as though she is waving farewell to her blog, so i thought i’d link to her one last time and hope she leaves up her amazing site for others to learn from and be inspired by, even as she is off living. i used to notice so many other mamas linking to her blog, and when i finally clicked over and saw all of her amazing links about permaculture and organic farming, and the natural beauty she captures in photos,Ā  i felt like i had met a kindred. she’ll be missed!

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