Have I told you about the garden we had? A couple of years ago, we decided to start growing vegetables right outside our kitchen. This time of the year during the fall harvest is the perfect time to try your hand at gardening and see if you have that green thumb.
For our garden, we transformed a flower bed that’s between the driveway and retaining wall. We removed the plants and established the DePiano vegetable garden.
We had visions of grandeur of the bountiful harvest that would be ours. We bought seeds and plants galore. Our gardening friends gave us tomato plants and asparagus. We were up and running.
Out popped the little seedlings, and we just couldn’t believe our good fortune. Every seed had come up and this promised to be a phenomenal harvest. The squash plant sprouted first and before long the little squash appeared. Next, the green bean vines made their debut. The okra was last, as it had to be planted when it was warmer.
We also had a bumper crop of jalapeño peppers. What has Neal thinking? He took those to work to share.
One morning we went out to see how our crop was progressing and everything was gone! What? Everything had disappeared except the okra and jalapeño peppers. I’m sure the rabbits, chipmunks, and possibly some deer enjoyed the delicacies. Apparently they don’t eat okra or jalapeños.
So we became okra farmers. The next year Neal planted 70 okra plants in our little bed thinking that should do it. Little did he know that he would be harvesting okra twice a day. Oh my goodness, did we have okra! Anytime anyone came by, we loaded them with a large bag of okra—and we still had okra to freeze for later.
I cooked more okra that year than I can remember. This time of year, during the harvest of fresh fruits and fall vegetables, I love to go to farmers’ markets and select wonderful things to cook. Roasting has become our favorite. I roast butternut squash, onions, okra, potatoes, beets, and any root vegetable.
I simply peel and cut them into large chunks and place them on a cookie sheet. Then, I coat them with olive oil and roast on 350 degrees until they are done, which is usually 30 minutes.
Enjoy the harvest by trying new recipes. It’s a great time of year for a trip to the farmers’ market!