September Saluations

Can you believe it’s September already!?  Kids recently headed back to school, and the “lazy-daisy” days of summer are flying by.  At the Suburban Farmgirl’s neck o’ the woods, we’re as busy as the bees! Come rest a spell and let’s get caught up!

The last few weeks, I set aside many projects in order spend lots of quality time with my daughter before she headed back to school and into (gulp!) fifth grade.  Our family went to the Bridgewater County Fair, where I won a large stuffed animal at the Whack-a-Mole booth, on one try. (I just envisioned real critters eating my veggies in the garden). Oh, the fair!  I love the tractors, the animals, and the old-fashioned, family fun!  Last week, we also drove to our favorite beach and spent the day, sadly bidding it farewell before heading home and stowing our beach gear until next summer.

Goodbye, Shore!  See ya next year!

We pass this scenic view en route to the beach.  Soon it will look different, with leaves changing to fall colors.

Hay has been baled in the fields of my favorite walking trail. Everywhere are the signs of summer’s departure.

Then we went school shopping.  I had my daughter try on everything from her closet before heading out.  As luck would have it, she’s grown like a weed, for sure, and nothing fit . We had to start from scratch, head to toe.  I’d much rather spend the day in my garden, at the flea market, or in my kitchen; or shop some quaint little town with offbeat shops than go to the mall… but off we went.  This was the first year that we also had to “accessorize” everything.  There should be some sort of award given to parents who survive back-to-school shopping with a tween girl!  Once the shopping list was conquered, and school supplies purchased, we breathed a sigh of relief.  I’m happy to report that first week of school went great!

“Accessorized” and ready for the first day.

Speaking of sprouting, my daughter is proud of the sunflower she grew from seed.  Still growing!

September brings our town’s Annual Labor Day parade.

How’s your backyard harvest this year?  I’ve started my snow pea and lettuce seeds for cold weather crops, and will start drying some of my herbs. Our veggie garden is winding down, and the cutting garden is showing the last of its color, its flowers fading like old denim.

Each day’s trip to the garden has a smaller yield, but still enough for eating fresh!

Amish Cockscomb

The Cleome (aka Spider plant) are in full bloom and yielding lots of seeds for next year.

While some of my tomato plants have grown over six feet tall, and are full of big, beautiful fruit, many of the tomatoes stubbornly won’t turn red! I’ve talked to many gardeners from several zones with the same problem. Posting on the Farmgirl Forum, I was given advice from many farmgirls. I found putting the green tomatoes in a paper bag with a ripening banana worked like a charm (just keep in mind they have to stay on the vine long enough to have matured, only then will they ripen indoors).  Of course there’s always fried green tomatoes!  I’ve got that dish perfected; I even had a friend who would pick green tomatoes in her garden and leave them on my doorstep, hopin’ I’d fry them up for her! (Scroll down for my recipe).

We’ve also been busy doin’ home repairs.  We replaced some failing boards on the decks, and fixed leaky faucets and running toilets. Seems like there’s always something needing attention! We recently also had to call an electrician.  I’ll spare you the details, but one morning the well pump wasn’t working, the oven kept blinking on and off, and we had no power to the basement, among a few other odd electrical issues.  I also thought I heard a sizzle sound and swear I smelled something burning, though it was faint, so I wasn’t sure. Turns out, the breaker inside the fuse box had scorched inside!  I felt sick thinking our house could have burned. What the electrician told me is that it could have eventually, but circuit breaker boxes are metal for a reason. He says a lot of times people have fires because they do not keep the door to the breaker box closed tightly, and sparks catch surroundings on fire. So, always make sure the door is closed to your breaker box. Just a safety tip I thought I’d pass on.


Yikes!  That little angel was looking over us again!

So, enjoy the rest of the warmer days, and remember to leave me a comment so I know you stopped by!

Nicole’s Fabulous Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 3–4 firm, green tomatoes, unpeeled and sliced ½ inch thick
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup dry, toasted bread fine bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp dried basil (or several sprigs fresh, chopped)
  • ¼ cup fresh grated romano cheese
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Dredge sliced tomatoes in milk, then flour, then dip in eggs, and finally, in bread crumbs. Brown each slice in a skillet on medium-low to medium heat, about 8 minutes on each side or until brown and slightly crunchy, being careful to turn frequently. Drain on towel-lined plate. Garnish with salt, pepper, basil, and grated cheese. Serve immediately.

Leave a comment 10 Comments

  1. Alas, the older we get, the faster times flies, it’s true! I can’t believe we’re in September already. Beautiful pics and good tip about the circuit breaker box – I’m going to go check mine now. Thanks for sharing the recipe!! XOXO

    Hi Ali!  You’re welcome!  I always love the recipes you share, too! Hugs, Nicole

  2. Bev says:

    What a great article saluting the end of a season!!! And thank you for the "fried green tomato" recipe…it looks so easy and sounds so good, I am going to have to try it out!!!

    Bev, thanks so much!  Enjoy! Nicole

  3. name Beverly Battaglia, Loganville, GA says:


    I loved the pictures of the beach and always like seeing bales of hay along a highway. So pretty and calming to see. I cannot wait to make the fried green tomatoes!
    The flower pictures are so nice and I never had heard of a spider plant. Our Audrey is really growing up and I cannot believe how tall the sunflower is! I love you, Mother

    Audrey is really getting tall, but she looks so small next to that sunflower!  It grew a bit more since that photo, and is just about to bloom!  She is so proud of it! We really enjoy gardening together, and she has her own little flower bed she is planning out for next year now.  Love you too, Nicole

  4. Denise says:

    Your flowers look SO pretty, mine have barely hung on due to the long HOT dry summer, even with me watering them. Your daughter is so cute and I have a niece who is so into her clothes and jewelry too!

    Thank you so much, Denise!  It’s been a good year for the garden with the amount of rain we have had, and I know it is a blessing as so many others have dealt with such drought.  Hope things cool off for you soon!  Have fun with your niece! Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  5. Thank you for sharing your farmgirl life with me. I live in Yellowpoint near Ladysmith, BC Canada on Vancouver Island. My husband and I retired early because we wanted to give country life a try. Consequently, we live on a tight budget, pension pay day to pension pay day on a small acreage. I have established a small scale market garden, read, walk, cook preserve, knit a bit and enjoy our country life. We are about to leave on a short road trip to pick up a new fox red Labrador puppy after being without a dog for two years just to give ourselves a bit of a break from pets. We are really excited to be getting a dog again; just did not seem like a home without one. I enjoyed reading your September entry. My tomatoes were very prolific this year and I do not think I will have many green ones. I usually make green tomato mincemeat for Christmas baking; good thing I have some mincemeat left from last years preserves. Thanks again for sharing your life stories.

    Hi Marian!  Your life sounds so wonderful and peaceful.  You are lucky to have so many red tomatoes!  I just spoke to my mother-in-law in Denmark, and her tomatoes have been a lot like mine, more green than red.  Same with my dad down in Texas this year, although your green tomato mincemeat sounds delicious, too! 

    Congratulations on getting your new puppy…so exciting!  A new furbaby in the house!  I am like you, a home without a dog just isn’t the same.  Enjoy, and thank you so much for reading and commenting…I really enjoyed reading your comment!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  6. Ellen Ottoson says:

    Talking about circuit breaker boxes! We awoke at about 6am on Dec. 7, 2010 to smoke throughout the house and in 5 mins. we were outside in our pajamas standing in the snow, barefooted and with our winter coats on. We had our front door open and I had called to our cats to get out, but one was trapped in the kitchen area and I knew not to go into the smoke or I wouldn’t turn around enough and be lost. I had forgotten I was also barefooted and would’ve burned my feet too, as my husband had done on one foot stepping on the den rug to get the fire-extinguisher! The house apparently had been burning for ~ 20 mins. in the basement and they felt it was a cable wire going into the box that sparked (it was always closed). Our bedroom of our 18 y/o house was on the top floor and we kept the door closed because of the cats. I wear an earplug because he snores and so I didn’t hear all the smoke alarms as fast as he did! We lost everything and the house went in the half hour. We lost the one cat and he is buried in the backyard now. Our other two cats ran out and hid under the pine tree till my girlfriend took them home. We are now in a new Arts and Craft ranch house on the same site going on one year and it is very well built, safe, and beautiful. We are triply blessed! Jewelry, handbags with ID’s, memories and pictures of our children, shoes, books and Mary Jane magazines, weaving looms, can be replaced or remembered (family treasures). Just run out with your family and say, "Thank you God for our lives and save the cats!". It was Pearl Harbor Day, quite appropriate.

    Oh my goodness, Ellen!  Thank God you are all okay, and got out safely!  I’m so sorry to hear you lost your kitty.  Thank you for sharing your story, and what a good reminder for us all of what is truly important, and that life can change on a dime.  It’s sad that you lost your possessions, but you are right, family can not be replaced.  Your story is another good reminder to check our batteries in our smoke detectors!  Thank you again for sharing!  Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  7. Susan Coley says:

    I’m jealous of your sunflowers! The grasshoppers are trying to eat them up! I herd my chickens down there daily but they are having a hard time getting them all!

    Susan, my daughter’s the one with the green thumb with the sunflowers.  I had some red ones, too, but every one of the ones I planted got eaten by the deer!  The only ones left are the ones my daughter planted, from seed, in the front.  She was so excited because yesterday it bloomed, and a new shoot has another head on it!  The deer ate all the rest – down to the stalk!  So, I feel your pain.  :)
    Farmgirl hugs, Nicole

  8. Joan says:

    Always like taking a little trip back East – I once got to take a trip into that area and wish I could still – but for now I will enjoy visiting with you.

    Thank you, Joan!  Farmgirl hugs! Nicole

  9. Judy from Maine says:

    Just a quick tomato story. Several years ago my husband planted a container garden of cherry tomatoes. He tended them over the summer with such care, but come early fall they were still green. The plants were covered in green cherry tomatoes, each morning we would check to see if any were ready for picking. This went one for quite awhile. One day we looked out the window and low and behold the plants were full of red, ripe cherry tomatoes. We looked at each other in wonder, how did they all ripen so quickly overnight. We rushed outside to harvest our crop…to find my Dad had played a big joke on us. He and Mom had snuck over in the night and with needle and thread had sewn a whole box of ripe cherry tomatoes to our plant. We all had a great laugh and I cherish this memory of my Dad’s sense of humor.

    Judy! That is hilarious!  I love your story.  Thank you so very much for sharing it with us.  -Nicole

  10. KimberlyD says:

    When I read about your green tomatoes and I was going to tell you about the paper bag trick. I never put a banana in it and had no problems with the ripening. Also just pick them and sit them in a sunny spot. I love to grow sunflowers, but didn’t get any planted this year.

    Hi Kimberly,
    Well, the tomatoes have finally ripened, but it was the latest season I have ever seen here, which makes for a short tomato season, too. After the cold nights and the 3.5 inches of rain we got night before last, they are pretty much done and I am pulling in the last of the fruit. I get so spoiled having freshly-ripened tomatoes, they taste so much better than from a store, don’t ya think?  As for the banana, the ethylene gas emitted from the banana just speeds up the ripening tomato in the bag.  An apple can also be used.  Putting the tomatoes in direct sunlight can ripen them, but also can cause the skin to split.  Have a wonderful fall, and thanks for reading and commenting! -Nicole

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