Fall is the Season for Harvest

The tomatoes are in full-on attack mode. These two are growing all over the poor strawberries, across a path, and into the nearby lawn. But they're in for a nasty surprise if they try to take over that lawn: as you can see, it's not irrigated.

Tomatoes on the move

Of course, we've been picking them and making lots and lots of tomato sauce. Here's the early stages of Noel's latest creation:

Tomato sauce

Last week between Wednesday and Sunday we had a series of rainy, cloudy, windy days, which was nice for the garden (free water!) and a kick in the butt to us to do some minor work securing the rose arbor out front.

This may not look much better than it used to, but we took out some extra canes, pruned off the wildy curly ones, and tied everything up more securely.

Rose in control

And speaking of roses, it looks like we're going to have another awesome harvest of rose hips this year. Last year's rose hip jelly was a little too subtle in flavour for me, so I'm going to try something a little different this time. This rose is Bonica: easily my favourite rose in the hedge (I'm thinking of replacing a bunch of the other roses that are not doing as well with more Bonica).

Rose hips

Oh, and we did a bit of weed whacking (well, Noel did, because I hurt my rotator cuff and have to be nice to my left arm for a while) with this present from our neighbor. It's a heavy-duty gas-powered weed whacker, able to get through stands of weeds that our nice little non-polluting electric weed whacker can't seem to manage.

New weed whacker

And it's got a great name (even if the reason we got it for free was that it was not working)(Noel replaced the fuel line and modified the air filter and it's doing better):

Smoove operator

From another neighbor, a gift of tomato cages. In my defense, the guy came over carrying only five and asked if I could use a few tomato cages. I do use them, though not for tomatoes, so I said sure. Fifteen minutes later I had this enormous pile. I'm sure I'll find a use for them, but it was kind of hard to explain it to Noel when he saw them.

Tomato cages

This is what I use tomato cages for: protecting small trees and shrubs from the mower and the dog romping. I buy a lot of my fancy specimen trees in 4" pots, so they aren't exactly easy to see in tall grass. Of course, I wasn't planning on putting in twenty more small trees before the ones I have in now got too big for their cages, but you never know.

Edgeworthia crysantha in a tomato cage

And finally, our first real sign of fall: the saffron crocus coming up in the orchard. You can harvest saffron from these guys, with patience (and I think we might try it this year). Saffron is kind of a really subtle flavour, so I'm not sure how much difference freshness makes, but we shall see, right?

Saffron crocus

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posted by ayse on 09/24/07