Monday, November 1, 2010

11/1/10 harvest - Fall Salad

With the temperature rapidly dropping in Indiana, the garden offering seems to be shrinking.  This week, I barely managed to harvest enough lettuce, parsley, Jelly Bean tomatoes, and one radish to make two dinner salads. 

The salads were topped with some home-grown alfalfa sprouts.  Although the harvest was small, I did have a proud gardener moment when I realized that everything on these plates came from our organic home garden (pat myself on the back).  After taking this picture, I further dressed the salads with some sunflower seeds, golden raisins, slivers of goat cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

Head on over to Daphne's Harvest Monday for more fall harvests from other gardeners!

P.S.  During my first year of vegetable gardening this year, I have learned my lesson that a part - okay, MOST - of the effort of keeping an organic home garden is dealing with a huge variety of garden pests.  Even after the arrival of the first frost late last week, I'm still seeing yucky pests in the garden.  I picked off (effective) several cabbage worms on my asian greens and rolled my eyes at (not effective) the aphids on my lettuce.  At this point, I've pretty much given up on the battle against the garden pests, at least for this year.  I'll be better prepared next year with row covers and a variety of different organic pesticides like Bt.  Enjoy it while you can, bugs!


Robin said...

I bet those salads were yummy! I think that this was the worse year for garden pests. I have never had so many bugs issues in the garden before. My last two tomato plants had to be pulled last week due to an aphid infestation. There were thousands of them on the one plant!Hopefully it won't be so buggy next year :)

Erin said...

The salads look fantastic! That's my favorite meal besides stir fry for all the garden goodies, and what I love most about fall - the lettuces are growing again!

thyme2garden said...

Robin - you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear you say that about garden pests. Since this is my first year, I have no other years to compare to, and it would be a bit discouraging if I knew that I had to deal with this many pests every year!

* * * * *
Erin - thank you! I love garden salads and stir fries, too!

prue said...

That salad looks delicious and when you mentioned there was goats cheese too I think i drooled, just a teency bit. Pests are a pain in any garden, but hopefully the organic solutions work next time

kitsapFG said...

The salads look delicious! Don't get too discouraged about the pest invasion. Every year is different. You will always have pests and using the barriers and limited organic controls is a good approach - but some years you just lose the battle and hopefully you have enough diversity in your garden that while still sad, it is not devastating.

Toni-Shaklee Distributor said...

Wow... what beautiful salads! Sounds delish! Congratulations on your 2010 garden!!!

We've had hard freezes here in Wyoming... but I do have some yummy greens growing in my little hoop house!

Emily said...

Looks like a great fall salad. I love those proud gardener moments :)

Ott, A. said...

Looks healthy and tasty! I too am done for the year when it comes to the garden. Bring on the snow and when spring comes I'll start up again!

Shawn Ann said...

isn't it nice to have something completely from the garden! Yep, those pests can be a real pain and frustrating too! You learn new things every year!

villager said...

Pest control is always a battle, but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it with practice. I'd say you are doing a great job with your gardening!

Kelly said...

That must have been one satisfying salad. The bugs are wicked, this year I just ignored them for the most part, but that meant not harvesting some stuff due to pest populations, and also ripping some stuff out early. I did notice the beni's will move in eventually- but some times it is too late......and those dang cabbage worms don't seem to have any enemies. Grr.

Barbie said...

MMM.... refreshing. Your salad looks wonderful. :-)

GrafixMuse said...

You SHOULD be proud of the fact that all the salad came from your own organic home garden. I always take a moment to acknowledge and be thankful for the bounty the garden produces. Well done!

Pests and diseases are always a challenge and every year is different.

michelle said...

What a terrific looking salad! I'm fresh out of salad greens in the garden right now and really missing them. Fortunately, I can get some going for the winter, I just have to get around to it.

Rebecca said...

Please read Harvey Ussery's article in the June/July 2010 Mother Earth News, Why Natural Insect Control Works Better. Can be read online as well.
If you have aphids your plant is weak and your soil is contributing to weak plants. You can bring in the best plants from a nursery or transplant yourself (from seed production) and if your soil is not full of nutrients for the plant to feed on it will get sick and succumb to aphids. Layer your soil with organic matter and try not to disturb the soil below 2 inches. Use cover crops during nonproducing season. Remember whatever spray or dust you put on your plants you are eating.
Aphids on you plants can mean not enough nitrogen in your soil a component of compost.

Toni-Shaklee Distributor said...

@Rebecca, great comment! Do you have a link to that article? Would love to read it!

Toni-Shaklee Distributor said...

Rebecca, found the link to that article. It is:

~Holly~ said...

Yummy! Fresh greens!

TYRA said...

Your salads looks like a beautiful summer salad, so fresh and tasty.
Well done.


Daphne said...

People's harvests do seem to be winding down - at least those of us who live in the northern hemisphere. I've noticed a drop in postings for Harvest Monday as the weather has gotten colder. Some people don't even grow any fall vegetables and stopped in September. Your salad looks lovely.

Funkbunny said...

Lovely looking salad! Yup, the pests are an ongoing battle. Have you tried companion planting with herbs and flowers like calendula, marigolds etc. These confuse pests apparently, although won;t eliminate them altogether.

thyme2garden said...

Everyone - thank you so much for your comments about my home garden salad and all your encouragement and wisdom about dealing with garden pests!

Rebecca - thanks for letting me know about that article, and the tip about aphids and the possible lack of nitrogen in the soil. I'll have to read up on it and make sure I'm doing my best to amend the soil for the plants to grow stronger.

Toni - thank you for finding the link to the article!

Funkbunny - I did not grow ay marigold, etc. this year, but some nice fellow garden bloggers shared their seeds with me, so I will definitely be growing some in the garden next year. I'll take every little bit of help that I can get!

The Idiot Gardener said...

Nice crop! I have some winter salad planted (rocket, mustards, stuff like that) and they're growing, just very very slowly!

Nartaya said...

Congrats on a yummy looking fall salad! I am all out of tomatoes and waiting for a (hopefully) late season crop in SoCal.

thyme2garden said...

TIG - I know you've got just about every single cold-tolerant crop planted in your frigid garden. Sorry to hear that they are growing slowly, but hopefully your efforts all pay off in the end!

* * * * *
Nartaya - thank you! Late season tomatoes sound wonderful. I've been hearing of this 90+ temps in SoCal this week, I hope that's doing more good than bad for the late season crops. I'm a bit worried about all my cool crops in CA bolting in that kind of heat.

meemsnyc said...

Wow, impressive that you are still getting salad!! I am loving the alfalfa! Awesome.

Stevie from said...

Sprouts - yay! Do you have a sprouter?

thyme2garden said...

meemsnyc - we love the alfalfa, too!

* * * * *
Stevie - yes, I won a three-tray sprouter from The Cheap Vegetable Gardener's blog. I blogged about it on 10/25/10.

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