We keep a pretty organic garden on our quarter acre. The philosophy we've been using is to go easy on the earth, to u7se a few native American planting techniques, to use all parts of a plant we can, and to not sweat the critters. Thus, many of the root veggies and the onion sets we put out went to various critters, although in other years we've gotten a fair amount of potatoes that we planted from just putting eyes in the soil after letting them root a bit on the windowsill. We had tons of poddling radishes this year which made for some nice stir fry dishes and instant crunchy things on the plate. and all of our heirloom tomatoes did well. Likewise a packet of heirloom yellow beans kept producing and producing although our herbs were mainly slim pickins. We got two total gours, which we ate early like squash instead of going the decorative route with them, never got any watermelons and, like last year, had cantelopes only a few inches across that were, however tiny, quite delicious.
Maybe because of global warming, and maybe for some other reason, one of the glories of the spring garden, tons and tons of violets, never showed on the lawn. We usually pick them stems and all, pack bottles with them, fill them with white vinegar, wait a few weeks for the vinegar to change to the correct color, and then decant into decorative bottles for ourselves and friends, the perfect salad vinegar. This year, we had none, and there was no flower to take its place. The pickling cukes did ok, but not enough to set aside for pickles.
Today I made two batches of fresh tomato sauce, pretty easy, just tomatoes, crushed garlic, some oregano from the herb garden, a little basil, skins and all.
Last time it was tomatoes, peppers,
We've had an abundance of peppers this year. Two plants were acquired from a Vietnamese plants vendor at the local farmer's market, these very tiny (not quite so small as African Bird Pepper, but close) but super hot numbahs. They are still going. We pick them, dry them, gut them of their seeds and then use them throughout the years, usually giving little packets of the dried seasoning to friends. One or two goes a long way. Our half hot (lutenica) peppers fromt he Balkans we just ate all summer but the sweet ones (paprika peppers) we dehydrated and saved in jars to add to this and that, and the slightly hotter ones we covered in grape seed oil to make a pepper sauce of one kind, and in vinegar to make a another kind of pepper sauce.
This time of year, we're able to get apples and pears cheap. We're filling all racks of the dehydrator on a regular basis with whatever mushrooms and apples we get on sale, not at the same time, of course, so we can get shopping down to a minimum.
Just made a batch of chicken salad yesterday: cubes of chicken, walnut pieces, green apple pieces, a handful of currents, one of those peppers cut with scissors into very miniscule little squares sprinkled on, some fresh pickles (no yellow number 5, no other garbage). Crammed into a half a homemade pita (water flour yeast one t. sugar to accelerate the yeast) with some lettuce (or like me when you are out of greens, you can use purslane from the garden)