hump day nuggets: the harvest

hump day nuggets: little bits of the season in photos and (few) words about the last week

It’s fall. Yes, the equinox was several weeks ago but tonight we will have our first hard freeze with the expected low at 28. Today I am home with bug and it is a good day to be home, pulling up and hanging all those tomato plants heavy with green fruit, making pesto, applesauce. Sipping hot beverages with npr humming in the back ground. Preparing, physically and emotionally, for this next season of stews and hearty bread, dinner at a reasonable hour, thick sweaters and boots, down comforters. Closing up our house, tucking in our garden. Bye dirt! Margot said the other day as we left the garden with arm fulls of food. Yep, one more turn of the shovel for garlic and then bye dirt until March.

My garden was a bit neglected this year and my harvest is proof. It’s ok though, I am happy with the choices I made instead of spending those much-loved long, hot days pulling weeds, pruning tomatoes and applying fish emulsion. I have been more tired with this pregnancy and honestly just didn’t have the energy I usually have. I spent my summer walking about the yard, pushing bug in swings, dipping toes in the river and being with pals. There were occasional sprints of weeding and tending but, really, not so much. But, next spring!

And so, some harvesty nuggets:

:: Pumpkins! Margot is so so proud of her pumpkins. Mama oh boy! She hugs the big one.


:: Every year I want to dry herbs and never have. And then the thin, white blanket of frost kills my ambition. But this year, I did it and will be so thankful all winter. Rosemary, parsley, basil, oregano, sage, thyme and tarragon.


:: Puny onions and beets. The soil is beautiful so I am not sure what went wrong here. Perhaps inconsistent watering as I don’t have these beds on a timer…

:: But a good carrot, cabbage, tomato, squash and pepper year.

:: Baskets full of food from my back yard. Really, it makes my heart pound audibly in my ears. I love it so.

:: A shared harvest: pickle chips from my friend Finny made the trek from the still-warm northern California.

:: Our neighbor gives us free reign on his apple and plum trees. Every summer I try to hide my obnoxious eagerness to get in his fence to harvest, peeking over our fence when I know he isn’t home desperately trying to spy a ripe plum. And this year, I missed the window, or, rather, the squirrels sensed my hot potato feet and beat me to it. Six plums is all we got. We usually get buckets full. But the apples are gorgeous.

:: Fresh flowers in the bedroom.

:: And in the kitchen.

:: The grape harvest earlier this week.


:: Bug LOVES strawberries and says strawberries? in the most pleadingly sweet tone. She won’t even have one in her mouth before she says more please? And today, I believe is the end of our strawberries. Chicken ate the last three with such glee.




:: Finally planted the perfect amount of basil. I usually have a basil forest. Pesto!

:: Bug loves bugs. And, no, this nugget isn’t about harvest. She doesn’t eat the bugs. She just holds them gently. Our box elder colony keeps her entertained for many minutes.

:: And, of course, all of this harvest is about what it becomes. A staple in our house: beet carrot soup. Super easy and tastes exactly like fall.

2 tablespoons olive oil
one onion, chopped
4-5 beets, chopped
4-5 carrots, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
water or stock
salt and pepper
an empty belly

*Also fabulous with ginger but Andy isn’t such a fan so I leave it out*

Heat olive oil in pot, add onion and cook for a minute, until soft. Add beets and carrots and cook for five minutes. Add a few cups of water or stock. Cover, simmer until *just* soft. The less you cook, the more flavorful the veggies are. Throw in garlic and blend with immersion blender or regular ole blender. Season and eat.

35 Responses to hump day nuggets: the harvest

  1. Deb says:

    I absolutely *love* those two pics of your strawberry-eating daughter!

  2. Melissa says:

    yum. love the photos and the basket of food you grew. i imagine it’s a wonderful feeling . . .

    and i am totally gonna make your soup because i have my last farm box of beets and carrots just waiting, waiting, for a purpose. gracias!

  3. joan says:

    Almost screamed out loud when I saw this little afternoon treasure. Admittedly I scan through it quickly to see the adorable pics of Margot Bea. And adorable they are. She loves her pumpkins so much. And the strawberry series, so cuuute. I did read the text following my swooning session of the pics. Looks like you got to the tree top for the apples..nice job.

    If we drive to Seaside, which looks like a strong possible, we will get to see you soon, like in a couple days.

    Nice herb selection!!!

    Hi Margot Bea, if I don’t see you this weekend I will see you when Papa gets his tonsils out. XOXO all

  4. joan says:

    With all those herbs your house must smell devine

  5. Erika says:

    I wish you were my mom. xo

  6. Pam says:

    I agree with Joan – the pics of Bug hugging the pumpkin and eating the strawberries are too stinkin’ cute! Alice looks very noble standing guard over Finnykints’ pickle chips…

  7. Kelly says:

    those pumpkin pics are just too cute for words!

  8. Sally says:

    you have the most beautiful life. what an inspiration! i am thinking of starting my own consulting biz! let’s just say you are inspiring me to get it started faster.

  9. Marty says:

    It would be fun to grow grapes, but Bozeman area is mostly zone 3 with some 4 near Manhattan and Three Forks. We had a lovely garden anyway. I will try the soup-my carrots are prolific and I even planted beets this year.

    Your pictures are always so lovely.

  10. Your garden bounty looks wonderful. I missed out on the plum harvest this year as well. I have one small bag from my friends tree. The birds carried most of them away.

    Your sweet baby is getting so big…both of them ;-)

  11. mrs chux says:

    That beet soup looks fab. Will HATES, HATES beets. He likes just about everything, but oh man, he even wants to like them…gags when he looks at ‘em. I had to take down a big bushel on my own a couple of weeks ago and laughed every time I had to go #2. xoox

  12. mrs chux says:

    That beet soup looks fab. Will HATES, HATES beets. He likes just about everything, but oh man, he even wants to like them…gags when he looks at ‘em. I had to take down a big bushel on my own a couple of weeks ago and laughed every time I had to go #2. xoox

  13. kelly says:

    I love your wee onions.

  14. Kelle says:

    i wish i had a garden every time i see pictures of your vegetables. i love that she likes bugs. and her big brown eyes next to that pumpkin is the total essence of fall. mmmm…cozy home pics. xoxo

  15. Margot, bugs, strawberry faces, drying herbs, Alice… all kinds of beauty in this post. :)

  16. Jean says:

    Good grief, I couldn’t believe you posted the soup recipe as prior to the flash of the bulb over my head you had posted this I was wondering if you had a recipe for beet soup. Isn’t that great?

    Great photos!

  17. TRB Holt says:

    Margot I love that you love your pumpkins and bugs! Just wait until you really meet a good frog! I agree with you, strawberries are the best especially right off the plant. I see you are wearing one of the sweaters that your great grandmother knit your mama….I wish you could have known her. Hey and those Minnetonka Mocs now fit!

    Nici the photos of you bounty, flowers and grapes are divine. You are not only getting the urge to batten down the hatches for winter but your nesting one as well. Won’t be long now.

    I love you both very much…xoxo, Mom/Gram

  18. April says:

    love reading the nuggets! love how bug loves bugs. my son is a fan of bugs, too. yesterday while we were lounging in the yard playing the cloud game, we saw a roly-poly stumble by. and myles said, “i think we should let it live, b/c it’s a nice bug, right?) too cute!

  19. FinnyKnits says:

    As usual – I love it all. The enjoying of strawberries (I think we all feel like Margot does, but we don’t show it – we should!), the hugging of pumpkins (which I totally do), drying of herbs (beautiful shot!) – and especially Alice. Sitting right there with my pickles looking all gorgeous (Alice, not the pickles).

    I’m so glad a bit of sunny CA can get its Fall at your house.

    And I’m TOTALLY making that soup. I have a buttload of carrots and beets that need eating.

    Next week’s menu, here I come.

  20. So happy everyone enjoys the strawberry-eating face. Finny, you are right, we should all be so open with our affection for the perfect berry. I actually think I only had two strawberries this entire summer because Margot liked them so much I couldn’t bear to not give them all to her.

  21. Mary Delle says:

    What an adorable little girl. Great post. Enjoyed the photos of that cute little thing. Your recipe looks great

  22. Cute. I loved your dog with the pickles.. and Mae was reading with me too… she said your house is pretty and your baby girls face is so funny and cute.
    Grapes? I would give one of my pinky fingers to come and pick grapes. Who needs two pinkies? Well, maybe after picking grapes I would give it up.

  23. Mary Delle says:

    From the Bloomin’ Ferns post: The photos I posted aren’t true ferns. We just use the common name fern, whereas they are from another family of plants.

  24. Ellie says:

    I’m making your soup right this minute! It smells great!
    Love all your photographs and your perspective on life as a Montana gardener, mother, and appreciate your recipes – never thanked you for the oatmeal-cocoa cookies, they helped me survive my pregnancy!

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