Sep 28-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: September: Sep 28-11
Cleaning up the crops    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Jim Solko
Colorful gathering    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh
For pies and muffins    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh
For carving and Halloween    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh
Where it all came from    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 07:59 am:

If you're a gardener, you know it's time for the fall harvest, before the frost gets all your goodies. Brenda Leigh was busy this past week, harvesting the bounty from her garden, including pumpkins, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon and musk melon, which she says she didn't even plant. What happened, is that she took over her dear neighbor's garden this spring, since Wally passed away last year, but somewhere along the way, he dropped some musk melon seeds in his garden and these "volunteer" melons grew from them, like a final gift for Brenda and her hubby from Wally. :->
Brenda says she's real proud of that big watermelon, there on the table in the first photo, as her garden only yielded two of them this year, but the one pictured is HUGE! She had a bumper crop of pumpkins though, both the sweeter cooking variety and the Halloween carving/deer feeding kind. Sure looks like Brenda had a green thumb this season and now will be kept busy making, baking, canning and preserving the goods.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 08:02 am:

Brenda sure has an *orange* thumb when it comes to growing pumpkins!

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 08:22 am:

Nice garden and it looks like it was a great day for working in it, too.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 08:38 am:

Good Morning. I love the fall harvest pictures! You have an awesome harvest, Brenda. You made me hungry for pumpkin pie, cake, muffins, breads, pudding, and you name it! And I love baked acorn squash, and I have seen a number of recipes for butternut squash soups, too.

For those who may not be aware, the pumpkin harvest in the Northeast was devastated by flooding rains and a late spring frost, so they are trying to import pumpkins from Michigan and other places in the Midwest to meet their needs. In addition, the Texas pumpkin harvest is at best 50% of what it should be because of their heat & severe drought. So, pumpkins here may be in short supply, both for carving and for baking. Many people across the country are finding their store shelves empty where the canned pumpkin should have been because of the shortages, not to mention the prices are sky high when they can find it. If you like to bake pumpkin goodies or to carve pumpkins, it may be a good idea to buy what you need early, before things really get in even shorter supply. :-)

By Donna (Donna) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 08:52 am:

BEEEEEAUTIFUL! I opened Pasty and said "There's Brenda!" What awesome pics....LOVE them all! Whatta harvest!!! Way to wonder the deer are all over the place munching on your flowers....the "Appetizer" round! Look at the full course! Holy wha man!!! It's a smorgasboard and it is beautiful......Way to go!! Fabulous stuff!

By Donna (Donna) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 08:53 am:

And what a cool "gift" from Wally...that's just a beautiful story!

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 08:54 am:

We had a few really cold nights nearly a month ago. I covered two of my garden boxes on those nights, but there was no feasible way to cover my box of tomatoes (they grew *really* well). We picked all the green tomatoes off the plants, put them in paper grocery sacks in a single layer (ended up being 8 bags) and tossed a banana in each sack before rolling the top down. It took 2 banana ripening cycles per sack, but we got probably 14 pounds of ripe tomatoes where we'd had none before. Just made salsa with them this past Sunday, and it turned out great! (I also got a double batch of banana bread out of the most recent pile of overripe bananas...)

My jalapenos produced really well, but the bell peppers did not - we didn't have enough hot weather, I guess. I also grew some hybrid squash (Zephyr) that did quite well. Tried some eggplant, but they didn't do so great - again, a lack of hot weather. I brought one of those inside, and it's flowering now - maybe I can get something off it yet. :)

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 08:56 am:

For a few years my husband had a small garden...among his vegetables he had watermelons, which were small but very sweet and juicy...some pumpkins, but those were 'harvested' by the raccoons for the most part, so we bought our pumpkins (pie pumpkins) at a large farm. I started making pumpkin pies from 'scratch' about 4 years ago, a lot of work but they were delicious! ;9 Love the colorful photos today.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 09:03 am:

I knew as soon as I saw these pictures, that they had to be Brenda's. Nice job, Brenda!!! Some of them look good enough to eat, and some good enough to carve into scary little creatures!!! What fun!

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 09:19 am:

Marianne I tried creamy squash soup with crumbled blue cheese recently while on vacation. It was to die for!!! Been cruising the internet for some reciepes. It almost out shined my sea scallops that eveing! Yesterday at my local supermarket there was almost a feeling of happiness as I checked all the fall harvest and decorations in the produced department. Sort of a homey, comfort atmospere you know what I mean?Thanks a million Brenda ( of course Mary) :O>)

By Brenda Leigh (Brownmoose) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 09:51 am:

Thank you for sharing these photos and the story of our dear neighbor Wally. It is so sad to loose someone so dear. He is with us daily yet, providing us with smiles. He was a good man.
Also thanks to everyone for the nice comments. I LOVE and it provides me with desire to keep shooting the photos. I cannot even begin to thank Mary and Charlie for their dedicated service. HAPPY FALL and if any viewers are in our area and in need of a pumpkin I can provide one for you.

By Therese (Therese) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 01:29 pm:

Canned 'pumpkin' is actually a squash closely related to
butternut. Its skin is tan like a butternut, not orange. It is used
for canning because -- I understand -- the real thing turns too
dark in canning. So a pumpkin shortage shouldn't cause a
canned shortage. It may be that the squash was affected by
floods also.

By Brenda Leigh (Brownmoose) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 01:40 pm:

Therese your post confused me as I have been growing sugar pumpkins for all my gardening years.
I checked on the site of Accent, Farm and Garden. This is what I found.

Special to The Gazette

Plant: Sugar pumpkin

Common name: Pie pumpkin, field pumpkin

Latin name: Cucurbita pepo

Description: Sugary sweet and deep orange in color, the sugar pumpkins are not like every other pumpkin. Sugar pumpkins tend to be a bit smaller in size. They are softer, too. But though they are smooth and beautiful, sugar pumpkins grow on prickly long vines. As they are a winter squash, the leaves are similar to other squash: pale to medium green, large and heart-shaped. Large single flower petals can be pinkish to orange.
Pick pumpkins before frosts arrive, because the plants are tender annuals. Sugar pumpkins contain lots of vitamin A, rich amounts of vitamin C, fiber and potassium plus good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids (seeds), folate and many more nutrients.

Origin: Native to the Americas, pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family.

Tips: Buy pumpkins with smooth, blemish-free, deep orange, plump skins. Feel for heavy weight and firmness not squishy or spongy skin. Store in a cool, dry area.

Varieties: Choose Cucurbita pepo to grow in a vegetable garden for smaller and tasty pumpkins. Pumpkin types come as heirlooms or hybrids and grow in miniatures or bigger, up to about twenty pounds. Grow Cucurbita maxima for giant, prize-winning pumpkins.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 02:35 pm:

All part of the beauty of Autumn. Thanks 4 sharing.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 04:06 pm:

The majority of canning pumpkins in the US come from Tazwell Co. Illinois, next door to where I live. So far the crop looks good and there should be no shortages. The canning pumpkins, as stated above, look much different from the "Halloween" variety. Every year Morton, IL has a Pumpkin Festival which features every thing pumpkin including chili and the pumpkin chuckin' contest where canning pumpkin are thrown or shot for distance, the record is slightly over a mile from a giant air rifle.

By Therese (Therese) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 05:27 pm:

Canned pumpkin is made from Concubita

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 06:44 pm:

I've made pumpkin pies from canned pumpkin many, many times, but there's definitely a much better taste when using fresh 'pie pumpkins'. Thanks, Brenda for the pumpkin info.

By Therese (Therese) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 07:58 pm:

Utterly gorgeous photos, by the way. The second one is my background of the week on my smart phone.

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 09:40 pm:

Some garden, Brenda. Wow!

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Friday, September 30, 2011 - 08:18 am:

For whatever reason, there has been a real shortage of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) in many different places in the U.S., so far this fall. :-)

I do love fall foods, from baked apple goodies and pumpkin goodies, to chili, and a host of other things. Ms Katie, I'll let you know if I see a recipe for a creamy squash soup with crumbled bleu cheese. Most of the recipes that I've seen are for a creamy squash soup. I don't remember seeing bleu cheese added to them, but it should be easy enough to do.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Friday, September 30, 2011 - 10:20 am:

Ms Katie, here is a link to one Creamy Butternut Squash Soup recipe:

I think you could crumble bleu cheese into this one. I also have links for four others, if you are interested. I could email them to you or something, if you like.

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