Postcards from Home ~ Harvest from the Garden

Today was a gorgeous, sunny fall day where I live.  Soon we're expecting our first overnight freezing temperatures so I picked most of what is left in the vegetable garden.  Almost all of the remaining tomatoes, zucchini, string beans, basil, and flat leaf parsley.

A couple of weeks ago we harvested some of the beets.

I know a lot of people don't like beets, but I adore them. They were one of my favorite vegetables as a child, and they remain so today.  I love to pick some of the beet greens throughout the season and saute them quickly in a little olive oil with some slivers of garlic.. they are very nutritious and are delicious steamed as well.

I feel fortunate that most every herb, except the most tender, survive year-round in my climate, ready for the picking.
But still, I like to cut big bunches and dry the stems in my dehydrator. Then I remove the crispy leaves...

And store them in big air-tight canning jars.
This is oregano,  I also dried some thyme, rosemary, lavender and parsley. The flavor of the dried herbs is more intense than when used fresh from the garden.

Once the leaves are removed, I make small bundles of the dried stems ~ they add a delightful flavor and scent to grilled chicken, meats, fish and vegetables. Just add them to the mesquite or charcoal (just to the side of the hot coals) after you've begun grilling.

We also planted successive plantings of several kinds of radishes a few weeks apart for continuous harvest.

These are French Breakfast radishes, quite mild.  In loamy, sandy soil  they will grow twice as long as mine do. 

You've probably surmised from the length of these radishes that (even with plenty of soil amendments) our soil is neither loamy nor sandy.  ;)

I love the purple ones, and the white ones the best.

The very tip of the iceberg when it came to our tomato crop.

As the season progresses and we become flooded with tomatoes, I generally lose interest in photographing them... this year was no different.
The preceding two shots were from the very first of the season... when we cannot wait for them to ripen!

We've been enjoying quite a few of these Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches on homemade whole grain bread throughout the summer and early fall.

And plenty of wild blackberries from the back of the property.  

This year we didn't get many nectarines from the tree, (due to the crazy weather) but the few that ripened were sweet and juicy. 

The plum harvest was also light, but they were sweeter than any I remember.

I neglected to get photos of  any of the grapes, but I did preserve some grape leaves for making Dolmas later.

Earlier this year I also put up some more Rose Petal Jam from our roses...

And did I mention eggs?

We have five different breeds so the eggs are a variety of colors.

From the fifteen chicks we raised this Spring we now get between 9 to 12 eggs PER DAY.
And that's not bad...

Considering that THREE of the fifteen chicks turned out to be ROOSTERS. 

Here is one of them. Please meet "Trouble",  he's the king of the roost and loves nothing more than to perch on the highest places.  (As seen here, about 7-feet up, on top of his pen.)   His other favorite place to roost is on top of the 9-foot high cross members of the bean supports.  Or taking a jaunt over to the house to come spy on me as I work in the kitchen.  He's quite the character.

My next group of Postcards from home will be all about the chickens... so you can see how they have grown since Easter.

I'm always a little sad to see the summer harvest come to an end because it means winter isn't far off...

But it will give the garden a rest, and give us time to make plans for next years vegetable garden.  :)

Thank you for coming by today, friends!



  1. Hahahaha! 3 out of 5 were roosters. Well, Mari, it's probably a good thing, otherwise you'd have had to go into the egg-selling business! Beautiful pics of your garden harvest. I have just a few more romas hanging on the vines, but I'll be bringing them in tomorrow to oven dry.

  2. Look at your harvest..I can't believe the beauty of those eggs..I have never seen a real colored egg in real life!

    Everything looks so fresh..Good for you..My bountu was pretty much zero food wise~

    Nice job!

  3. Oh my goodness, I'm so jealous! This was my first year to try to garden, and I was stuck doing it in containers since we live in an apartment. I ended up with three very minuscule green peppers. Your garden looks absolutely beautiful! You must share your gardening tips (or favorite resources) sometime.

    Those eggs are my favorite of all of the pictures. It makes me want to go out and raise some chickens!

  4. Mari, You have absolutely transported me!!!!! What a breathtaking post! Each image makes me giddy.
    I love the dried herbs~ and the jar of it makes me want to go right out and dry what is left of mine.
    Your beets are works of art! And I, like you, love beets.
    YOur eggs make me "green-eggs-and-ham" with envy. Oh, how I would love to cook with them. And I can't wait to see what you do with them in the spring!
    What an inspiring post!
    I'll be back to look at this again!

  5. Those eggs are incredible.I have never seen those dark green ones! :-)

  6. Günaydın, ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık. resimler Çok güzel ve canlı görünüyor.


  7. Your garden's bounty is ART! Love those French Breakfast radishes, I'm not familiar with them at all, but love the color & shape~ And the COLOR of those EGGS! Isn't Trouble a handsome fella?! Looking forward to your chicken update post~

    Thanks so much for your comment :-)

  8. Breathtaking photos, Mari...♥ your new profile one, too!

    The different shades in all the eggs are amazing & you've captured them so beautifully.

    We've pulled up all our tomato plants now. Filled 5 black 33 gal. garbage bags!!! Whew!! We will NOT be planting that much next year, if I have anything to say about it.

    I'm off to explore many of your other posts. A recent PC virus set me back a bit.

  9. Mari,

    Your photographs are works of art. I love beets and radishes - hubby doesn't.... We get farm fresh eggs in the summer. All are different colors and just beautiful.

    Again, just exquisite photography. You should make those pictures into note cards!

  10. Gorgeous my live in paradise!
    I bought some beets yesterday at the farmers market...they will be roasted today!
    They are not as gorgeous as yours!

  11. Mari, I am so impressed with this harvest! I think that if everyone had a chance to taste your sweet homegrown beets, they would be converted into beet lovers! What a dream it would be for me to someday have chickens, a large garden and be able to dry my own herbs and make rose petal jam too!

  12. Very nice Mari! Beautiful eye candy as usual. Love the eggs, and I can't wait to see your post on your chickens.

  13. Hey Mari,
    It's good to see the chickens are really beginning to lay since summer. At their current rate, I'm sure your neighbors are happy for the extra eggs! I wish our tomatoes turned out as well this summer.

  14. Karen, dear… Thank God that was 3 roosters out of 15 total! :D

    Bon jour Monique! Believe me, I would GLADLY share fresh eggs with you and your family at any time. Wish we lived closer (and for more reasons than just eggs!) ;)

    Hi Country Cook! Oh, please don’t be discouraged about container gardening… honestly my best tomatoes this year came from those plants in whiskey barrels. (My garden is surrounded by tall Douglas Firs, not so good for any plants that need sun.) The plants get a little more sun and warmer roots when planted above the raised beds, in containers. And so much easier to maintain!

    Hello Yvonne, my friend. You are soo kind… you make me blush. I adore your Tablescape this week (but that’s not unusual. I absolutely love every one you have ever shared with us. It's always a treat to visit your blog. :)

    Hi Jessica, I was surprised too about the green eggs. (Shocked is more like it… lol!) When she began laying I was a bit apprehensive about cracking those green eggs open. Eeek! But they are like any other chicken egg once cracked. (Thank goodness.)

    Merhaba Fuat, Bu yüzden burada görmek çok güzel! İyi günler.

    Hi Mary! Your sweet words warm my heart. It’s always so good to hear from you, my friend. ((hugs))

    Retta, I am so sorry to hear you had been ill. I haven’t been very good about keeping up with my blogging friends during the busy summer ~ but I’ll hop on by to catch up with your blog. When the rainy weather arrives I’ll be indoors and will have more time for blog-hopping. You take good care, sweetie. xo
    Carol, Wow... thank you SO much! ((hugs))

    Linda-girl... Roasting is my favorite way to do beets, too. I used to steam them (rather than boiling), but haven’t done that in years, either. Hope you’re having a wonderful time now that Mike is home. Enjoy every minute.

    Christine, thank you so much for stopping by... you are ONE busy lady, I know. How you do all that you do, I do not know (but I'm glad that you do because I love your blog.)

    Elizabeth, You’re so sweet. I’ll try to get the post about the chickens up soon (tons of pictures to sort through...)

    Hey Neophyte Cruiser (aka: my brother!) Happy Birthday!! A few years ago today you and Mom were having your own private party ~ followed by great celebration of family and friends afterwards, I’m sure. Love and hugs... Enjoy your special day!

    Thank you again, everyone for your most welcome comments. xo ~m

  15. HI Mari, these pictures are just breathtaking! I wish so much that we could grow herbs and fruit and vrgetables because we love gardening but we live in the woods and have no sun:(:( It breaks my heart when I see pics like these on what I am missing. Your BOUNY is amazing! I love coming to your blog and seeing all that you have harvested! XO, Pinky

  16. Hi Pinky! I feel for you... I live in wooded/forest terrain, too.

    Just a bit of cleared land for the house and garden, so we do what we are able. But I love the woods, & I wouldn't really want to live anywhere else. :D I hope you love your woods, too.

  17. GREAT post! I love the eggs. I've never seen all those colors before. You have what it takes to grow beautiful vegetables. You would laugh your head off at our pitiful one tomato plant! Can you do a tutorial about soil, fertilizer, planting etc? Your vegetables are gorgeous. How do you do it all?

  18. What beautiful eggs Mari! Our friend gives us some beauties just like yours. LOVE that colander too!

  19. Love the tip about the dried herb stems and using them to smoke flavor when you grill. thanks so much.

  20. Beautiful pictures, and I love Trouble!!! He's very handsome!
    Cheers! Leslie


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