Grow. Eat. Live.

Grow.  Eat.  Live.
Grow. Eat. Live.


Monday, October 20, 2014


Autumn in New York

We had a major reality check yesterday, Sunday, when the temperatures dropped significantly in lower 40F - mid 50F (day) and low 30F (night).  But, Saturday was the better day in sunny 70s.  It was warm enough to work in the backyard to tidy up furniture and bring inside plants that were in pots due to the frost weather approaching. 

Plants that cannot sustain frost weather

When bringing houseplants indoors that were left outside all summer long significant steps should be used:
  • Wipe down all pots with cleaning solution (Anti-bacteria wipes, clorox and water, vinegar and water, or soap and water).  Doing this will kill germs off the pots.
  • Inspect all pots for potential insects/bugs that may have set up shop on your soil or plant itself.  Spray them off with water or use an natural insect repellent solution mix with water, soap, and neem oil.
  • Remove some of the top soil just in case.
My meyer lemon plant had ants crawling all over the base of the trunk and branches.  It took me awhile to try to get them off by spraying vinegar and water around the pot.  Also, I created a liquid solution consist of a little liquid soap, water, and a few drops of neem oil (stuff stinks but kills bacteria and pests) in a spray bottle.  Sprayed the plant and soil.

I harvest some of the following that were ready or bruised up:

Collard Greens got eaten up by pests toward the end of season

Picking through all the leaves and being stung/bitten by an unknown insect (98% believed it was a black spider- very painful and I had on gloves!  Somehow it crawled in - sneaky suckers!) I was able to harvest this...

Organic Collard Greens

Harvest 3 kinds of tomatoes
Yellow Cherry tomato, San Marzano tomato, and Beefsteak tomato

I thoroughly washed and soaked the collard greens in equal parts of vinegar and water.  By doing this helps remove any dirt and tiny pests that may have hidden on the leaves.

Then I chopped up the greens and stored some in freezer bags to put in freezer.

Collard Greens ready for freezer for winter or holiday meals!
And some I cooked with organic green swiss chard, shiitake mushrooms, organic sweet red pepper, onions, a few of those yellow orange tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil, and a little water for some steam action.  I lightly sauteed it in a pan.

Do not cook the greens long just until leaves are nicely wilted down and bright green

As for those tomatoes I harvest (which had bruises on them) I removed the bad parts and roasted them in a cast iron pan.  Those tomatoes had to be used right away and roasting them was a good way to eat them.

Organic Tomatoes, organic fresh bay leaf, organic purple basil, organic sweet marjoram,
smashed fresh garlic, organic tarragon, organic fresh thyme, dried oregano,
and drizzled organic extra virgin oil

Placed it into the oven for about 30-40 minutes until juice of tomatoes is practically gone.

tomatoes and herbs roasting away!
(be careful when removing the pan - Caution very hot and heavy)

HEALTH TIP:  Cooking tomatoes in a cast iron pan absorbs iron in the food and eating cooked tomatoes are more beneficial than eating them raw.  Cooking tomatoes boost disease fighting power for the body.  The cooking substantially raises the levels of beneficial compounds called phytochemicals.

Roasted tomatoes ready to eat!

Harvest two eggplants - sliced them, placed them in freezer storage bag, and into the freezer it went.

Organic Eggplants

Some lavender flowers were blooming in front of the house.  Grabbed my handy garden shears and took the last of the flowers.

Fresh cut lavender
As a reminder this is the time to make trips to your local Farmer's Market and see what hidden deals you may encounter.  Plus, a lot of nice orange vegetables are in season!

Purple Kale waiting to be taken home
Union Square Farmer's Market

Eucalyptus Plant
at Union Square Farmer's Market

You know I had to grab this plant!  $10 a pot and the last was left.

*Note:  Every Monday blogger Daphne welcomes other gardeners on sharing what they are harvesting

                                                                                             Welcome fall!


  1. Very nice harvests! We have had nothing but slug issues this fall with all the wet weather, and all of my brassicas have been getting eaten too. Those roasted tomatoes look so good - what a great idea to roast them in a cast iron skillet!

    1. Thank you. Slugs are a pain. Cast iron pans are great investments and a good essential tool to have in a kitchen- baking, roasting, and frying.

  2. Lovely harvests! You've inspired me to use my cast iron skillets more often.. that tomato dish looks delicious.

    1. Thank you. I'm glad I'm having others with ideas. Roasting tomatoes is worth it especially when you mix with herbs and extra olive oil the flavor comes out. It can be tossed in pastas etc.

  3. Great harvests and that salad looks delicious. I make a similar one with cooked kale.

    1. Thank you. It was pretty good sautéing it in coconut oil. I love kale especially kale salad using lacinato kale.