I have butternut squashes falling off the vine right now (don’t bother telling them they are a fall squash, not a summer squash–they don’t care), and that has me thinking Thanksgiving thoughts as I like to feature as much home-grown food as I can at the meal, and my older daughter loves mashed butternut squash. I’ll roast and puree the butternut squash and freeze it in the next week or two. It’ll be easy to defrost it and add some maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger, milk, and butter to it and whip it up into a creamy goodness before baking with the marshmallows (per my younger daughter’s request) on Thanksgiving.
I like green beans as a Thanksgiving side dish as well, so I’ve recently planted some more seeds so I can get a new crop to freeze. My yellow pear tomato plant is going strong, but I think I’ll add another one just in case because that variety tends to make it to Thanksgiving and I think the yellow tomatoes are very pretty on a fall salad. Speaking of that fall salad, it should be no problem to have a mix of lettuces, arugula, and an Asian green I like a lot name tatsoi in my Thanksgiving salad, but this of course means remembering to plant them all once it cools enough for fall crops like that here in metro-Atlanta. (North metro-Atlanta is growing zone 7B, and the rest of the metro area is growing zone 8A, by the way, if you want to look up a planting chart to know exactly when to plant what in your garden–in general, the fall crops go in from September 1-October 15. I like the Georgia Organics planting calendar as a general guideline.)
I glanced back in my photo archives to see what else I could have in abundance with a little planning, and I found this photo of a wheelbarrow full of a harvest from the day before Thanksgiving last year. Note to self: don’t forget to plant collards and broccoli.
I am using these next few weeks to clear out some space in my garden; to cover crop (I’m aiming for a quick 3-week stand of buckwheat), add compost and fertilizer; and to finish planning my holiday so I can hit the ground running (and spend Thanksgiving rejoicing in my bounty, and relaxing).
Swing by Farmer D Organics in person or online to get what you need for your Thanksgiving garden now. Oh, and by the way, if you are hoping to have a locally-raised turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner, contact your local farmer now to see when he or she requires ordering. And let’s not forget pumpkin and sweet potato pie, although you would have had to already have planted both pumpkins and sweet potatoes to score on that. If you missed that boat (or, rather, pie), be sure to hit your local farmers market for those ingredients when available. (You can still squeeze in some more zucchini plants and whip up some zucchini and fig muffins for either with the holiday meal or for breakfast for guests the next day.) Also, consider visiting your local farmers market right before Thanksgiving to round out your meal–what a terrific way to have your local food-growing community right there at your holiday table with you.