Harvesting in October

Living in Canada is amazing – for many reasons.  For me, one of the most incredible things is being able to experience all four seasons…each unique in it’s own way.  The spring is all about rebirth and new beginnings, summer is about enjoying the outdoors and winter is about taking time to sit back and revisit what we did throughout the other seasons and contemplate change for the year to come.  But, though each season has it’s own grace, autumn has always been my favourite.  The colours are spectacular, the weather is sublime and we get to reap the reward for all of our hard work during the summer months in the garden. It is wonderful to see baskets and baskets of glorious produce!

The problem sometimes comes when everything is ready and there are only so many hours in the day to chop, blanch, freeze, preserve and cook everything we pick (or buy at the farmers market!!).  No worries though… in the next few weeks, I will give you some tips on putting away some of these magnificent fruits and vegetables.

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But, until then, let’s take a look at what is left in my garden:

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Most of the tender lettuces are gone but I have this winter variety of radicchio – different than the kind you find in the store.  Most Italians know this as the tender leaves you can use in salads and then, as the leaves age, you can use them in soups.

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Here are a few of the red radicchio “balls” you usually see in the store.  They grow into tight balls and then are picked and sliced thinly to add to other salad greens or to mix with thinly sliced red onions and something sweet like diced apples or pears…yumm!!!

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My beautiful cabbages!!  These have been “kissed” by frost which is important for them to yield a bit a sweetness but I am leaving a few in the ground as they can endure a bit more of the cold (and only get better!!).

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I still have some Swiss chard growing nicely…it too can withstand a bit of cold.  Whatever is left by next week will go in the freezer for soups , pastas or frittatas later in the winter!!  Check out this post on how to freeze greens properly!

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Oooops!  I found 3 tomatoes that got frost bite!  That’s okay…I will dig them back into the ground to nourish the soil for next year!

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A total accident, but these beautiful butternut squash grew from a plant that I thought was zucchini!  Nice accident, huh??

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Although some of the more delicate herbs are done (like some mint and basil), the tough ones are still growing strong.  My parsley is great, as is my rosemary, oregano, thyme and this sage!

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I picked a basket full of apples that I most likely left on the tree for too long (while I had the flu, the cold nighttime weather softened them a bit, so they aren’t the most ideal for eating).  But, I diced some up today and made this most incredible Tuscan Apple Cake and it worked like a charm!  I think we’ll be having lots of this cake in the weeks to come!!

Happy Autumn…enjoy this stunning weather we have been graced with.  I’ll be back in a few weeks to show you how to completely close it down for the winter!

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