Signs of Autumn, and the Mystic Garlic Festival

There is one heirloom tomato plant, four green pepper plants, four Japanese eggplant plants, tomatillos, two Ancho hot pepper plants, kale, basil, parsley, and lettuce left in the garden. It’s September 15. This weekend, we plan to strip all the plants and take them down (except for lettuce and kale, which like cool weather). My husband had the pellet stove running early this morning. The air conditioners are off, thank goodness. Don’t like air conditioning. I’m shopping around for hyacinth bulbs for winter forcing. And I’m craving hot chocolate. I think autumn is creeping in.

One of the ways I’ll keep busy indoors this winter is by making quark! Quark is an easy-to-make, soft cheese that is yummy plain, or infused with garlic and herbs (for a healthy, super-fresh dip), or honey (for serving like crème fraiche on fresh fruit), or anything you like. I ordered the culture last week; it should be here soon. Add the culture to fresh, warm, raw milk, let it sit overnight, strain in cheesecloth for up to 24 hours, and store in the fridge. It sounds delicious, and I can’t wait to make it.

Within a couple of weeks, I’ll have to bring in the three potted geranium plants. They did great this summer. They’ll drop leaves once indoors, then look sad and anemic for a few months. By January or February though, they’ll know spring is around the corner, and start perking up.

We’re heading to the Mystic Garlic Festival in Mystic, Connecticut this weekend. It’s a garlic-lover’s dream. All local garlic from local farmers. Many varieties you never find at the market. Plus, tools for cutting, crushing, cooking, and storing garlic, garlic braids, garlic bread, garlic French fries, and lots more. Lots of natural food venders. No yucky carnival food at this festival. My husband and I plan to be there early on the first day, and get a bag of that AMAZING black, fermented garlic. It sells out on the first day every year.

And speaking of garlic, the bulbs I ordered for planting haven’t arrived yet. Hmmm. Have to give Seeds of Change a call this week.



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