Br! What happened to those hot days we used to enjoy? I still have bulbs that my wife would like to take out; I hope it’s not too late. My garlic is safe under a nice layer of straw. I pulled out a few heads of cabbage from the high tunnel before he reached the teenagers.
A few years ago, while looking for a fall harvest recipe, I found one that used quite a few fall vegetables and had venison in it. Now is the perfect time because I’m used to having game this time of year too. Of course, I had to make a little adjustment, but it falls really well in cold weather. It’s here:
DEER VEGETABLE SOUP
1 pound ground venison
1 onion, chopped
1 large parsnip, sliced
3 medium potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into cubes
1 can (16 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes (use the last of the fresh ones)
3 beef stock cubes
6 cups of water
1/2 medium headed cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Brown the game and onions in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, parsnip, potatoes, carrots, rutabagas, tomatoes, broth, water, cabbage, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 1 to 2 hours.
While you’re enjoying that tasty bowl of soup, it might be time to think about next year’s garden plan. It’s best to do this while this year’s garden is fresh in your mind. Some important factors can make gardening more fun and more efficient. By now, you will have a better memory of some of these factors.
A good starting point is the placement of the garden. Did it get enough sun? Most garden plants need a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day; more is better. Trees and shrubs can compete with garden plants for sunlight, nutrients and moisture. Walnuts should be avoided because the roots produce a toxin that inhibits vegetable growth.
Is the water supply convenient? Otherwise, it can be easy to postpone the necessary frequent watering of seedlings and transplants. How far is the garden from the house (kitchen)? It is easier to use the product if it is convenient. Being able to see the garden while planning a menu can inspire a meal based on what’s ready…like the soup above.
Happy gardening (or garden planning)!
Peter Sutter is a lifelong gardening enthusiast and a participant in MU Extension’s Callaway County Master Gardener program. Gardening questions can be sent to [email protected]