Autumnal Equinox

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It is officially fall today.

I think Mother Nature is thanking us for being so patient with her.  All those people who have been complaining about the lousy summer we had, are happy now because she is gracing us with a beautiful start to autumn.  This week is going to be sunny and warm (if you could promise me that the weather would stay like this until, oh, say Dec 23rd, I would sign the contract right now!!) so let’s get out there and enjoy this.

Would it be bad to have lunch on a patio somewhere??  I’m thinking that is fantastic idea!

Let me give you a quick tour of my garden on this first day of fall:

 

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The carrots were fantastic this year (look at this one!).  I dug a hole, threw in some seeds and got tons of these….still picking a couple every day!

 

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I shelled a bunch of romano beans and made soup.  These are so pretty (a few people told me they looked like jelly beans!)…I love how nature reminds us of true beauty!

 

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My herbs did “just okay” this summer but they have flourished over the past few weeks.

My thyme has become bushy again…

 

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…and my lemon balm is on it’s second growth.  Use this in place of basil when making pesto and add it to fish…spectacular!

Or just add it to your lemonade or iced tea!

 

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My apples are doing well.  Or, I should say, my apples that are too high for the swans to eat are doing well.

Yup, the swans that I thought were my friends, have decided that apples are a good snack.

 

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Another shot of my romano beans…so pretty!

 

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My last head of celery.  I have planted it for a few years now.  Every year, I tell myself that I am not going to plant it.  Even though it is almost too tough to eat raw, I love the extreme flavour it has (way stronger than the store bought kind).  It makes a great addition to soup stock and if you dice it and freeze it, you have it all winter long to add to dishes as you choose!

 

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And beautiful greens!  I’m still picking swiss chard. I love adding a few handfuls here and there to pasta dishes, fritattas, risottos, salads…it’s just awesome (and chock-full of vitamin goodness!!)

 

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If you love salad – especially fall salads that have heartier lettuce varieties – throwing some seeds into the ground is one of the best things you could do.  The lettuce to the left is chicory.  Before you turn your nose up to this (some people don’t like it because it’s “prickly”), plant some and try it out of your garden.  The tender leaves are so different than those you buy at the store because, straight from the garden, they are soft and delicious!  The lettuce on the right is radicchio and it is great because, while you wait for the inside to form the red lettuce balls you find at the grocery store, you can cut the outside leaves and slice them like this to add to a salad or rip them into shreds and add them to a soup!

 

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Just so all of you don’t think I know what I’m doing, I thought I would show you my beets.

Yup I planted a bunch…and, yup, I only got three…and, yup, they are about the size of a quarter.

The “Man Upstairs” is teaching me a lesson in humility!

 

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So, there you have it.  A beautiful day when you can sit in your garden and shell some beans and be thankful that our summer wasn’t as bad as you thought.

Maybe every weekend wasn’t perfect beach weather but it was certainly awesome enough to make all of this!

 

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