Kitchen Garden: Bigger isn’t always better

09/09/2012

With 80 plus degree weather and a good share of rainy days, I’ve let my kitchen garden coast along on auto-pilot for the last coupla weeks. I finally got around to harvesting this weekend, and although there was a fair bounty of peppers, tomatoes and basil, things had gotten a bit out of control.

My pot of thyme had grown into a long tangled mess. As careful as I was when cutting, I’m pretty sure I cut at the roots–with so much growth, I couldn’t tell which end was up.

Also, the thyme is past the flowering stage, so the flavor may not be the best for cooking. Not too big a deal, as I can always use thyme for skin oils and toners.

If you’re familiar with okra, a Southern favorite, then you know that it only takes 2-3 days for a pod to reach it’s ideal size—about 1 – 2″. Okra is most tender and has the best flavor at this stage of maturity.  Anything bigger is going to be tough, and not as tasty. If you don’t harvest okra every coupla days, you’ll end up with these over-sized, and otherwise useless okra pods like the ones shown below.

Fear not, however. Although not worthy of consumption, I intend to use them in a beauty recipe (stay tuned for the recipe).

Freshly washed thyme and basil that will be hung to dry for the next two weeks.

Cherry tomatoes left to ripen in the window. Honey and the Mister love to snack on these.

The Mister made gumbo with the peppers, tomatoes and “good” okra—delish!!

What are your fall planting plans?