We're sitting on the cusp between summer and fall; one of my favorite times of the year. The fall crops are beginning to produce: sweet potatoes are harvested, the arugula bounced up and is ready to cut, radishes are ready to pull, with much more just around the corner. In the meantime, it's still warm enough, and the days long enough, that summer crops like cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, and eggplant are still producing in abundance. The cucumbers are fading away quickly. It's been a good long run, we've had cukes of one sort or another producing a full month longer than they usually do, but this is most likely the last week for cucumbers. I keep harvesting peppers and eggplant through late October, but if you have it in mind to tuck some away in your freezer for the winter, do it in the next few weeks. Both will slow down in the cooler, shorter days of October. Just about any of your favorite eggplant dishes can be made in larger quantities, and the prepared meals will freeze and reheat quite well. All you need to do to freeze peppers of any kind is to chop them into pieces, tuck them into containers, and toss in the deep freeze.
And what's with all these beans??? I usually plant a wide variety of beans (snaps, shelling beans, & more) to harvest in August and September. The weather here in late summer can vary so widely, it's impossible to predict which varieties will do well, so I sow them all. Typically a few varieties produce well, and most of them get turned back into the ground. This summer they've all grown well, and the plants are cranking out beans faster than I can pick them. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with beans (love to grow and eat them, hate to pick them), but if you love beans, this is your season! You can also tuck extra beans into your freezer for the winter. Butterbeans only need to be shelled, put into containers, and tossed in the deep freeze. Snap beans or romano beans should be blanched in boiling water for one minute, then plunged into ice water to cool. Drain and dry them as well as possible, portion out into containers, and freeze.
And just to be a tease...I have some fabulous news to share with you in a week or two! Stay posted!!