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Fall in the Garden

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By Eileen Epling

As the garden season wanes and you are clearing off old growth among the few tomatoes and peppers that are hanging on, this is the perfect time to start a lasagna garden. A lasagna garden is a layered garden concept that utilizes a no-till method by layering compostable materials on the space in which you plan to raise a garden next spring. Some compostable items would be: grass clippings, pine needles, manure, shredded leaves, straw, fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps, clean egg shells, coffee grounds, tea, and cardboard. Be careful when using any decaying growth that may harbor seeds (to sprout where you do not want it) or disease (burn it).

The first layer on the smoothed garden ground is covered with newspaper and/or cardboard. This acts as a weed block and it will decompose. The second layer is a two or three inch absorbent layer such as straw, dried grass clippings or mulch. The third layer is a five to eight inch layer of compost which can include, but not limited to: more grass clippings, fruit and vegetable kitchen scraps, manure, shredded leaves and pine needles. The fourth layer is a water layer, which helps the decomposing process. 

After you have created your lasagna bed you can plant a cover crop to overwinter and then your garden will do its natural best and help develop wonderful soil. Come spring you will have a no till garden space to grow some delicious vegetables. Maybe then you can create that wonderful Lasagna dish with home canned tomato sauce, Parmesan and mozzarella (local!) cheeses all surrounded by pasta and baked to deliciousness.

Cowboy Candy

Borrowed from: www.chilipeppermadness.com

Have lots of Jalapenos from the garden? Try sugaring sliced jalapenos for an interesting sweet-heat treat.

6-8 jalapenos, sliced ¼ inch rounds

1 cup sugar

½ cup vinegar

1-teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon ginger

The peppers can be seeded or not.

Bring to boil the sugar, vinegar and spices. Reduce heat to low, reduce to a thickened syrup.

Add sliced jalapenos, coating well. Simmer about 4 minutes.

Pour into clean jars, wipe lid, cover and can store in fridge for up to 3 months.

Makes about 3 ½ cups.

This recipe can be canned, use proper canning methods.

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