We actually got out in the garden yesterday and did some clean-up work. We're still getting over the colds, but we're a lot better, and the weather is weirdly warm for late October. The weather report on TéléMatin just pointed out that we are currently enjoying des températures dignes de la mi-septembre.
Garden tools just begging to be put to work
So on a Sunday morning, Walt picked up and composted at least three, maybe four, wheelbarrow loads of apples that had fallen to the ground. He wants to try to mow the grass one more time before cold weather sets in.
Des pommes, des pommes, et encore des pommes
Meanwhile, I pulled out all the tomato plants — nearly 30 of them. That involves cutting the ties holding the vines onto support stakes, and then pulling out all the stakes and putting them away. The next step is uprooting the plants themselves and carrying them over to a big pile of yard trimmings and clippings that we hope to burn soon. I also pulled out half a dozen big squash plants of different kinds.
Nasturtium volunteers taking over a garden plot
The main things still growing in the garden now are greens: kale and collards. I've jumped on the kale bandwagon. I'd never grown the plant before and it's doing well. The collard greens are suffering from snail and slug attacks because of the rainy weather we've had — the leaves are full of holes.
The greens of the moment: kale
When I mentioned to my mother in North Carolina that snails were attacking the collards but not the kale, she immediately said: "Well, that proves what we know: collards taste better." I'm not sure why anglophone expats in Paris are so kale-crazy these days.
I hope this kale is as good as the kale I ate in Albany NY in 2012 and in Morehead City NC last April.
I think I'll harvest the kale this week and cook it for freezing or canning. I know a lot of people say they don't like greens cooked as I think they should be cooked, but Walt and I do. I'll simmer the kale leaves with lightly sautéed onions, a sprinkle of hot red pepper flakes, and a well-flavored chicken broth — adding some white wine for sweetness. I want the kale greens to be tender and succulent, not tough and crunchy.