Friday, November 1, 2013

Monthly Garden To-Do List: November

November is a time to be grateful and it is also the month when Americans have our harvest festival of Thanksgiving.  Traditional Thanksgiving foods come right from the garden and are placed in the horn of plenty in the center of the table and fallen leaves adorn the house.  

What I love about Lamorinda this time of year are the turkeys that flock along my street every morning, the males strutting their feathers and the females pecking along.  We counted 40 one day! 

You can start to see your breath in the air, and the trees are naked-- except the glorious persimmon tree with its ripe fruit beckoning bright orange on bare branches.

What's ready?

  • apples
  • arugula
  • beets
  • bok choy
  • cabbage
  • carrots
  • celery
  • gourds
  • green beans
  • kale
  • leeks
  • lettuce
  • onions
  • peppers
  • persimmons
  • pomegranates
  • radishes
  • spinach
  • sweet potatoes
  • tomatillos
  • turnips
  • winter squashes (pumpkins, butternut squash)

Kitchen Tasks

  • Store your squashes in a big bowl- you can keep them until you need to dust them (about 4-6 weeks or longer).  Play with some butternut squash soup recipes, or make a Thai curry with chunks of pumpkin in the sauce.  
  • Keep those persimmons and love them up!  The pointy ones are astringent and can make you pucker if you eat them too early.  Wait until they are as soft as a water balloon, then freeze the pulp for later, eat it raw with a spoon, or use it in a bread/ cake/ cookie recipe.  We have also made delicious persimmon sorbet, persimmon fruit leathers, and persimmon mint smoothies.  If you freeze it before all the astringent taste is gone, it will defrost without that tang.  The round ones are for eating like an apple, but also are great sliced thin on salads with pecans, walnuts, and/ or beets.
  • Try beets 101 ways. They are amazing fresh if you haven't had them.  What about: steamed, as the base for muffins/ brownies, roasted, shredded on salad, shredded and mixed with carrots and a vinagarette as a salad?  Don't forget those greens.  They are as delicious as nutritious.
  • Apples are still fabulous- try making applesauce, baked apples, or just eating them plain.  You could also make and store apple butter.  Or, of course, make an apple pie for Thanksgiving.
Kid Jobs
  • Did you know pumpkins and gourds float in water?  Try this with the kids in the bath.

Garden Tasks
  • Order bare root trees (Orchard 20% off if ordered by Dec 1st). 
  • If you aren't doing a winter garden, decide how you want to overwinter your boxes.  Straw hay?  Cover crop?  Nothing?  Alamo Hay and Grain sells bales of hay, but make sure to bring the kids because they also have chicks, ducks, and rabbits year-round and they let the kids play with the chicks.  It's a great outing.  
  • Make sure your winter garden is growing by trimming the kale, and picking your produce when it is ripe.  Don't discount the ability of your summer crops to keep growing-- one year, we had a chard plant grow HUGE over the winter and we ate from it the whole time.  
  • Look at your strawberries. If you haven't cut the babies off the runners yet, check and see which ones have roots forming and cut them and move them to another spot if you'd like.  They do best when the babies' roots are over half an inch long.
  • Plant your bulbs for the spring. Home Depot sells huge bags of daffodils and tulips.  Pay attention to which ripen 1st, 2nd, and 3rd so you can have flowers all spring long.  Daffodils and irises can be planted in deer zones.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...