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Golden Autumn Veggies, Herbs, and Flowers

Gorgeous Zinnia FlowerThose of you who love gardening, will agree that this hobby needs careful planning, requires its share of physical labor, and definitely lots of cooperation from Mother Nature, thus favorable weather.

Whenever someone asks me what my plans are for the weekend, often time I am unable to answer that question precisely, because it all depends on the weather.

Since Saturday is my only free day to catch up on my gardening, especially in the Spring and Fall season, and if the weather is great, I am out there during early morning hours, digging in the dirt.

Sunday, on the other hand, is a “Day of Rest”, so I attend church services, spend time with family and friends, have fun and relax.

This year’s Autumn season has been wonderful on several Saturdays, so I had a chance to clean up my flower beds, and my veggie and herb garden, to prepare them for Winter.

My Zinnias are still blooming, thus the gorgeous picture of my favorite Hot Pink Zinnia flower (top picture).

Zinnias are very resilient plants, thus easy to grow successfully.  However, some varieties  grow very tall and require a sturdy steak to support them.  Please keep this in mind when planning to include these beauties in your flower garden.

Red Rose Twins

Roses are another great plant to include in a flower garden, since they continuously produce gorgeous blooms.  Even during their tougher day, when aphids try to “eat them up alive”, they lose many of their leaves, but still manage to produce new flowers.  Just amazing!

Final Fall Crop of herbs and veggies

This is a display of my Golden Autumn Harvest of remaining veggies and herbs.

About two weeks ago, I completed the harvest of beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and lettuce.  I also, seeded another round of dill, which should still provide a nice crop before the first frost appears.

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley with roots Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

 

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley is my preferred parley, over the curly leaf parsley.  I pulled up some of these plants with its roots, since these add a great flavor to soups, and roasting meats ( the roots should be cleared of the stringy small roots, and the outer skin layer needs to be scraped off, before cooking).

Chives greensGarlic chives

These are my Onion Chives, and Garlic Chives.

Garlic Chives turned up coincidentally in my herb garden, as a result of trying to grow garlic from small cloves, which never matured to real garlic heads.  Garlic Chives have a mild garlic flavor, so I use them in salads, and other dishes, along side of Onion Chives, and Dill Weed.

Red Beet roots and tops

Red Beets are a must in my garden.  I cook many Eastern European foods, so these are a main ingredient in my Traditional Ukrainian Borscht, Botvinka, Red Beet Vinaigrette, and my favorite Exotic Red Beet Salad.

Basil leavesSorrel Leaves

Here are my Basil leaves, and Sorrel leaves.

I picked the Basil leaves off of the stems, rinsed them with cold water, patted them dry, spread them on a paper towel, microwaved them for one minute, then left them out to dry.  Once fully dried up, I crushed them in a food processor, and stored them in an air tight spice container.  Their aroma is much stronger, and fresher, than the manufactured one (and a real money saver).

The Sorrel leaves may be preserved for later use as well. Here again, they need to be rinsed under cold water, patted dry, chopped, placed in a zip lock freezer bag, and may stay frozen for few months.

I usually freeze enough in each bag (2 tightly packed cups), to be used in my Sorrel Borscht (Shchav, Shavel) recipe.

Free Green Peppers

I had to leave the best for last.

These Green Peppers are the best, because they are totally FREE!

I planted these from the seeds I scooped out from Green Peppers I bought at a farmer’s market for our dinner.  The seeds sprouted nicely, and the plants grew to maturity without much TLC.  Now we can enjoy them stuffed with Bulgur and Turkey, or a Vegetarian recipe.

My garden is almost ready for its winter snooze, but there are still a few more things that will need to be done before then.

Hopefully you enjoyed my gardening pictures, stories, and might even try the linked recipes.

Please share your gardening experience with all our readers.

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