Great Burnet, Sanguisorba officinalis (with poppy seed heads). Like raspberry bumblebees
SweeTea micro succulents. Love name and colors! I was told to pick up the pace… @JC Raulston Arboretum #succulents #scouted (at JC Raulston Arboretum)
Harvest: Chickpeas - Sep 17
This was my first year growing chickpeas. They seem like a useful garden plant for several reasons: they’re nitrogen-fixers; they are very attractive, unusual-looking plants; they’re small, so you can tuck them in the garden wherever you have space; and unlike many other legumes, my husband and I actually like to eat them (at least in deep-fried falafel form). I started the earliest chickpeas indoors in April, but the ones I planted straight in the ground did as well as those early starts did and matured in plenty of time for harvest, so I won’t bother next year.
The only downside to these veggies is their relatively low yield. I’ve spent some time shelling the drier chickpea plants and the last picture shows the pathetic harvest thus far (probably about 1/8th of my total crop). There’s something very underwhelming about a vegetable whose whole harvest can fit, EASILY, in a mason jar. And since there’s only one or two chickpeas in each of those pods, it’s labour-intensive, too.
Verdict: will grow again, maybe try to trick some neighbourhood kids into picking and shelling them for me by telling them it’s a game?
On a related note, here’s another Alberta gardener with an amazing assortment of fruits growing. I’m inspired to try to track down some hardy apricots for my yard!
I love the rich russet red that Sedum ‘Hab Gray’ turns late in the season. With Amaranth ‘Hot Biscuits’ it makes for a hot autumn combination.
Although I love annuals, my ultimate aspiration is to have a significant part of my yard be planted with perennial edibles, so I can just weed and munch. I’m not even that excited about the weeding, actually. I mainly want to munch.
I’m envious of people in other parts of the world who can plant a yard like this quite easily. In zone 3, there are slim choices for perennial edibles, although a few of the options definitely surprised me - like cherries, grapes, and asparagus.
Seen in the photo above: one of my first edible perennial beds I planted this year, with two arctic kiwi plants (one growing towards the tree on the left in the back, the other on the far right), bloody dock (in the middle) and some frothy new asparagus seedlings.
I’ve been doing significant research into this topic. Here’s my list of perennial edibles for zone 3 [note: link opens a google doc] which I keep updated as I discover or try new things.
Sept 2013 - Easy garden tomato sauce
At this time every year, I panic a little bit because of the thousands of tomatoes in my yard, and my response is to cook up some of this simple sauce. We use it all year round for pasta and pizza. I just freeze it, because I’m scared of canning. My “recipe” is more of an “improvised process.”
1. Cut up the tomatoes into pieces. I usually cut big tomatoes into 6 or 8 pieces, whereas grape-sized tomatoes just get cut in half. For particularly weird heirloom tomatoes, which tend to get gross areas where they appear to have been stitched together by Dr. Frankenstein, I cut the yucky bits of skin off. I don’t do anything about the skin of nice tomatoes. I certainly don’t peel them, because that’s absurd. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
2. Roast on a tray in a 200 degree oven for a long time - 5 hours or so. This may seem like a long time, but keep in mind, the tomatoes are doubling as an air freshener during this time.
3. Add other veggies, if you like. I added some chopped onion (just one, which I had dug up by accident when weeding) and fresh garlic to this when there was about an hour to go. It is also good with zucchini or peppers.
4. Puree in a food processor. At this juncture, you can also add herbs if you want them - I put in a bit of fresh parsley.
5. Optional - if your sauce is watery, simmer at low temperature until it thickens up. I didn’t bother cooking this sauce any more, because the tomatoes were not watery to begin with and the resulting sauce was already very thick.
6. Freeze in meal-size portions. I usually do a mix of big jars like these (for pasta) and smaller jars (for homemade pizza). This one tray of tomatoes made these two jars of sauce.
You’re done! Temporary reprieve from tomato panic. Have a glass of wine.
Kale and tomatoes are about the only edibles still going strong.