Go ahead and laugh, my Phoenix friends, but after two or three days of temperatures in the low-eighties, my tomatos are now suffering sunburn! It was just too hot for too long. But today our temperatures will dip back down to 70, giving the tomatoes a respite from the unusual late-Spring heat wave we had to endure...

Wow, and what a nice surprise today ... got our first egg from our latest batch of chickens! Guess which one is the new egg?? :)

Got a big bowl full of tomatoes today ... I'm going to save these up for a few days and reduce them all in a crock pot and can some tomato paste ... these are a mixture of 'Plum Dandy' Roma tomatoes (Territorial Seed) and Juanne Flamme tomatoes. And, of course, I ate about half of what I picked, so they never even made it into the bowl... YUMMY!

Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes – all soaked with bits of plant matter and sticky, sappy YUK! I spent two hours on parts of the property hacking through weeds and ferns to get to the caning blackberries that are starting to become invasive. I lopped them to the ground and will start digging them out … here, my wife got a shot when I was done...

Yup, that time of year again ... I decided to take advantage of temperatures in the 80s to tear out the main garden... yesterday, this was lush and green and you could barely walk around in it between all the plants. Today, they are all chopped up and tilled under ... soon, I will plant a cover crop to hold this garden over until Spring. Stay tuned for more information on that...

Today I harvested all the scarlet red runner bean pods. Some have already dried out on the vine, but most are still green. Here, I have them spread out on racks in the greenhouse to dry. I am planning to harvest the beautiful purple beans. Not sure what I'll do with them yet, as this is the first year I've grown these. :)

This was my pepper harvest today ... these were growing in one of my cold frames. Not too bad, for the middle of October in the Pacific Northwest!!!

These cold Fall and Winter months when I can't be out working the gardens, my passions turn toward cooking. Today was a good day for it, and I made a huge batch of beef pepper stew, some dill pickle bread and some olive/green pepper quiche for dinner. Pictured here is my first attempt at this delightful Dill Pickle bread. It rises fast and, if worked properly, is well formed and with a wonderful taste not overwhelming, but suggestive of the wonderful taste of dill.  Here's how I made it:

Frustrated when it comes to growing onions on the Pacific Northwest? Here's a suggestion for you. I have grown Copra hybrid onions from Territorial Seed for two years now, and have had a 100 percent success ratio with this. As of the time of this writing, we are still enjoying fresh onions from last year's garden. They grow to medium size (some grow larger) and they keep up to a year. I am loving these onions. I just ordered more seed today. Give them a try! Feel free to ask questions, or let me know how you've done with them.

OMG, I just realized that I haven’t updated this in a while! You see, I’ve been busy! It’s been a great gardening year! Thus far, I have given away bags and bags of rhubarb, more than 125 zucchinis and have harvested 42 Copra onions, nearly 150 cippolini onions, buckets of “Fooled You Jalapeno” peppers, other peppers, some tomatoes (though not in any quantity yet) and the list goes on. All my gardens now are huge canopies of green, and as we move farther into the harvest season, it will be like opening Christmas presents as I peel my way into it….

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