Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy Jig....
After our long trip away we are back to home sweet home. In the heat of Italy I thought lots of Florida, and when I miss my people on long trips I still pine for the home I have in the hearts of those in Florida. I had little heart strings pulling me back to Florida sometimes on our trip. But that vanished as we came back to our sweet little home in Sweden. It is green and damp and mossy like a Swedish September. We turned on the heat, brought in some fire wood, made a pot of soup, and got out the sweaters and rain gear.
Even little people have rain gear in Sweden
I was anticipating what would be going on the garden the whole trip. It is only my second year gardening, and I could not wait to see what would come of it. We left the garden with no watering system, and were chancing it to the rain and sunshine.....
And boy did they come through for us!!
The onions are no bigger than when we left, the swiss chards is big and beautiful, and the cabbage moth larvae have been feasting on the Tuscan and green kale, leaving little green skeletons in the garden.
The Hungry Little Caterpillar, who pillaged the Kale
The spinach died out totally, but the iceberg seeds and romaine lettuce in the self watering containers are glorious!!!
Only two tiny pumpkin fruits, and long windy vines with big yellow flowers. And the most pitiful excuse for a watermelon vine ever is tucked away in there too.... If we select a few flowers we hope to still get pumpkins for Halloween, that is a good 6 weeks or more away, right?
The apples in the front on one tree are ripe, and there are a few scarce black currants holding on. I loved these the most last year (black currant sauce on morning oatmeal is so YUMMY!!) , but did not have time to pick them before we went, and sadly most have fallen away....
A few black berries still. Swedish blackberries are tasty. We ate tons of these in Germany, but the Italian ones had a special odd flavor, and were no good at all!!!
Out front, the potato greens have died, I thought we had lost them all to diseases. But we have been told this is normal to lose the greens, and that we should just check the potatoes and harvest when no longer green. Any potato farmers out there? This is my first try at this.... But the carrots are really growing!
The kids picked a few baby carrots for our lentil soup. It was nice to have veggies when we came home with out shopping!!!
A few tomatoes have ripened, but the bushy plants are growing and growing up making green leaves and more tiny fruits. We were advised to stop their growth by clipping them so the energy will go into the fruit. I think I will take this as a metaphor, and do the same for all my fall projects- let the energy I have go into ripen what has already fruited around here instead of sending too many new shoots out this fall.
Not sure if someone picked a few peas when we were gone, but Swedegirl's peas have grown but have just one flower and no pods.
Lots of wild mushrooms in the yard. A friend came by and told us a few we have are edible!
(Not this one, it has gills, ones with pipes underneath are the best bet)
Told these are edible but I am still a little reluctant and scared to eat my yard mushrooms!!
But it was the zukes that came through to impress us most!!! Last year it was the quantity that excited us, after a bit of neglect it was the size that was so exciting this year!
Left unpicked for 5 weeks, they were HUGE!!!!!
We left the biggest and picked this one, which was not the largest, but weighed 4 and a half pounds!
What to do?
I thought the big ones would be old and dry and hollow, no good to eat. It was actually sweet and good. People talk about the joy of baby zucchini, that they are young and tender, but big ones like this that can be sliced like lasagna noodles, or make crackers sized disks are pretty special and worth growing, I tell you!!! I baked some with fresh herbs from the garden and some Parmesan, and was starving and found little slices with left over olive pate from Italy was delicious.
The kids finger painting, making themselves at home, getting messy, and reacquainting themselves with the joys of home that they missed on the road.
When we arrived home at 10pm at night, both kids woke up and tried on all their shoes in the closet, with squeals of glee! Fun to see what makes a home a home. Home is where our rain boots are for now.


lornadoone1972 said...

Loved looking at your garden, fabulous, wish we could do one like that here. In the UK when our zucchinis/courgettes get to that size we call them marrows. If you search you can find some great stuffed marrow recipes - fill with meat or quorn and rice and sauce and veggies and bake - one of my childhood favourites! x

SwedeLife said...

Thanks, stuffing is a great idea!!! And can you imagine this grew with out attention? No way you would do it in Florida!! Earthboxes are the best bet there, I think what I would do if I was trying things there. My dad had great herbs, and Kris had a good 'salsa box' with herbs, peppers, and tomatoes, and did well with broccoli. And Jessica's does wonders with greens, somehow.... it is almost season for winter growing in Florida....

Karen said...

Awesome, Heidi!
I love the garden pics-- amazing that some of your veggies did so well w/o you being there to tend them.

swedishouse said...

Hej Hej
Welcome Home!

Your food garden is fantastic!
I owe you an email ;-)

Liquid Pen said... warms my heart to see the sweet home you have to return to! And two big girls!!! You have real sibling play now...I can only imagine them trying on shoes together...the joy of sisterhood....welcome home!

By the way...I do have squash envy, bad!