Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Catching Up on Summer

We have been gone for so much of the summer, and my garden has been a bit ignored. But now that I am home, I have been trying to catch up on the work that needs to be done and enjoying more of the harvest!

Today I finally was able to harvest a few heirloom tomatoes. So far, the rest of our harvest has succumbed to blossom end rot. The temperatures here this summer have been unusually high and a lot of my plants aren't happy. Daytime highs have cooled into the eighties though, so I am hoping I may still get a decent end-of-summer harvest. Those strange greenish looking ones are called green zebras and they are delicious!

We have a plum tree that often produces a crazy amount of sour plums. This year, I tried making dried plums in the dehydrator for the first time. I had avoided it in the past because I thought they would just be way too sour.. and they are sour, but they are delicious too. So glad I decided to give it a go! I just sliced the plums in half (skin and all), took out the pit, added a little cinnamon and put in the dehydrator on 130F for about 24 hours. I made two rounds in the dehydrator..... and we have a lot of dried plums.

I also made blackberry-plum fruit leather. I pureed equal-ish parts blackberries and de-skinned and de-pitted plums. Added some honey and cinnamon. Dried in the dehydrator for about a day. Yum.

and, as always,  plum chutney. This year I added red peppers, and I also sauteed the onions and the spices before adding the plums and simmering.

We also have a plethora of zucchini (doesn't everyone?). For whatever reason, it is the one type of squash that seems to be doing well in my garden this year. It must be more resistant to blossom end rot than the winter squashes. Anyways, I just made some curried zucchini soup this week. It is a long-time favorite of mine and the kids love it too (they don't know that there is zucchini in there so shhhh! don't tell them!). Even though it is served warm, I still love it on a summer evening. I think the tang from the yogurt gives it a refreshing quality.

Lastly, I have gathered a whole bunch of herbs from my garden: bee balm, echinacea, lemon balm, dandelion, plantain, mint, yarrow, lavender, and calendula. It is infusing in olive oil and soon I will make some lip balm and super salve!

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  1. What a bounty! We do have piles of greens in our garden but in part because of our thick coastal fog, our zucchini's don't make it far in our garden. White powdery mildew every darn year. Your herb variety is amazing!

    1. Ugh- powdery mildew! We battle that in most normal years, and I am sure I will have it before my winter squash are finished.....

  2. Such a delicious post! I am sitting here with my mouth watering. I love the harvest from your garden and the wonderful creative ways you are using and preserving it! Enjoy the week ahead.

  3. Wow, your kitchen and garden are very busy right now.
    I love the soup recipe and will have to try it when my fall garden comes in, right now
    we are out of squash..gasp, I know, hard to believe.
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

  4. So much goodness in this post. Your soup looks delicious, we might have to give that a try, thanks for sharing. Those tomatoes...yum! And your oil infusion, so lovely. It looks beautiful.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  5. I'm so impressed by your assortment of herbs in your garden! And I really want to get a dehydrator right now. Those dried fruit leathers look amazing.

    1. You should get a dehydrator! You can get a basic set up for about $50. I used to just use my oven, but it made me nervous to keep it on for such long stretches. Enjoy your Sunday!