October 2011

(Catchy title, but I’m not talking about the Grateful Dead…RIP Jerry)

Here’s my end of the season haiku…

The season just bit

We started a ton of plants

Most of which have died

So, here I am, a garden blog writer, and I feel like our garden just sucked this year. Now, I understand, the title of our blog is, “Learning to fend for ourselves” and I don’t admit to knowing it all. As a matter of fact, many a gentle DaisyPatch reader has commented with excellent advice because, well, we needed it (and for that, we thank you). Here I am, looking back on our crops and thinking, “Damn, there isn’t much in the pantry and/or freezer.” Actually, let me tell you what’s in the pantry and/or freezer.


Potatoes (not very many)


Hot Peppers

Husk Cherries


Tomato sauce (not much)

2 F***ing Pumpkins.  TWO!


Here’s what’s happened to the rest of the crops:

Lettuce – That was a good crop

Beans: Dead

Peas: I enjoyed them for a while, but there weren’t very many

Shallots: Good, but only a few

Cilantro: Didn’t make it

Butternut squash: Dead

Acorn Squash: Dead

Edamame: Dead

Sugar Pumpkins: Dead

Weeds: Still our best crop

That’s it. There are some herbs I need to harvest and dry, but all in all, we didn’t have a successful season. We ate tomatoes as we harvested them, but a lot of them went to crap. So, what does this mean for our future gardening plans? I have to admit, I don’t know. Yes, we plan on planting things. The lettuce, arugula and spinach have been planted, as well as the spring carrots and I plan on planting more garlic and shallots in the next week or so. We will not be planting tomatoes next year. That is sort of a shame, but we don’t have much choice.

I am unsure about squash. I mean the 2 F***ing Pumpkins are cute and all, but they took up a lot of room. I want more variety next year. Just more things in general. We’re taking suggestions. If they could be mildew and fungus resistant, that would be helpful. No brussels sprouts please.

Before, they were here

Now, they are here









Paprika peppers. We plan on hanging them to dry and then pulverizing them into a powder. Maybe I’ll be able to convince Keith to put a few in the smoker so we can have smoked paprika. Have you tried it? So good on chicken breast (the cooked kind).

Remember in Compost Surprise, I mentioned we had a surprise pumpkin that came back from the dead and was growing out of the compost pile?

Yeah, well, I jinxed it. The sonofabitch died. I just can’t win.

Naga jolokia. The Ghost Pepper. Supposedly the hottest pepper in the world. (In 2000, India’s Defence Research Laboratory (DRL) reported a rating of 855,000 heat units (SHU) on the Scoville scale. For comparison, Tabasco rates at 2,500–5,000, and pure capsaicin (the chemical responsible for the pungency of pepper plants) rates at 15,000,000–16,000,000 SHU.* Source Wikipedia)  We grew it.

Keith donned the gloves (see here for my early article on picking hot peppers without gloves – NOT recommended) to pick them. We still have some on the plants outside, and we gave the rest to Popper. (If you haven’t checked it out, Popper’s Artisanal Meats (formerly Popper’s Sausage Kitchen) makes some great food.

 Keith plans on drying the Ghost Peppers and the grinding them to a powder for use in the kitchen. I can’t imagine a recipe I’d be willing to try that includes THAT for a spice. If you have recipes, feel free to share in the Comments section.

Keith painted a portion of our kitchen wall with magnetic paint, then layered it with chalk paint. I am having way more fun than a 40-year-old-with-chalk should be.

We have a squash growing out of the compost pile. And, it has a fruit on it. Ooh, I hope it is a sugar pumpkin because those died. I think. Well, I’m not sure. I wonder how I threw one away. Did I think it was dead, when really, it was really just playing dead? Either way, cool. Back from the dead. Just in time for Halloween.

Great scene in When Harry Met Sally.  No, not that one. I’m talking about the one with the Pepper in my Paprikash scene. Why, you ask, am I mentioning this scene on DaisyPatch Farm? Because we are growing paprika peppers. Successfully I might add. They are free from any sort of disease or blemish including, but not limited to, mold, mildew, fungus, blight, bugs, boils, canker sores, acne, carbunkles, exzema, impitigo, scabies, ringworm, dandruff and genital warts. We haven’t seen them afflicted with alopecia, lice, calluses, rosacea, folliculitis, varicose veins, vertigo, athlete’s foot, malignant melanoma or even buck melanoma. Here’s hoping we can keep it that way.

Although now that I look at this picture more closely, I do see a snail. Dammit! I can’t freeking win.