It’s time for another installment of the Adirondack Autumn retrospective I launched last week.
I’ll change gears from Rosslyn boathouse and waterfront snapshots to a few garden harvest memories.
We had enormous luck with melons this season despite a slow start. Actually, our luck was mixed. We grew about thirty medium sized cantaloups, but the squirrels (and raccoons?) devoured them as they ripened, successfully gobbling up every fruit before we could harvest it.
We had better luck with watermelons which either enticed the wild critters less or were better protected by virtue of their hard, thick rinds.
And a half dozen heirloom varieties of eggplant (eighteen plants) produced a bumper crop. Although we’ve grown eggplant for three or four years with decent luck, this summer was something else. The plants exploded up out of the drought cracked soil, quickly rising above my knees and in many cases reaching all the way to my waist.
We harvested literally hundreds of huge, glossy, delicious eggplant for over three months. We ate them every day. We gave them away. We even learned how to preserve them for mid-winer enjoyment.
Essex neighbor Barbara Kunzi lead a pressure canning workshop at the Whallonsburg Grange Community Kitchen. I’ve long been curious about preserving the food we grow, so I hustled off to Whallonsburg and learned how to can green beans. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening, and it inspired me to begin preserving by freezing until I can acquire a pressure canner.
I grilled and froze eggplant and blanched and froze tomatoes. I even cooked up (and froze) a sizable batch of Khoresht-e Bademjan, a Persian eggplant stew which we’ll devour this winter when the garden is three feet deep in snow!
The “skinny eggplant” photo was taken before slicing and baking them for the Khoresht-e Bademjan. In addition to several long, slender varieties, we grew several large purplish black varieties and pale purple striped varieties. (I’ve previously grown white eggplants, but skipped them this year.)