i noticed this pretty, little flower more this fall, so i thought i would research it. it comes up on the edge of the woods and pops up in some of the beds especially the blackberry bramble. It’s called panicled aster or symphyotrichum lanceolateum. according to U of M Herbarium: “it is one of the commonest asters, especially in moist open ground including shores, river banks, edges of forests and swamps, meadows, ditches and swales, interdunal flats; wet prairies, marshes, fens; fields, along old railroads, roadsides.” 


we had our second frost so i thought i would pick the last of everything. carrots, collards, and chard. i saved some of the carrot tops for soup stock. i don’t know what i am going to do with all the onions! oh, i had one purple carrot! you can see it a wee bit in the photos.


IMG_5131collard greens and green onions from the garden with garlic, sea salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

IMG_5137some of the last few tomatoes from the garden for slow roasting with eggplant, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.

IMG_5148added the fresh basil in the last hour of roasting (total 2 hrs).

IMG_5149into the blender!

IMG_5153homemade sauce for a future cold night!

i had read about these books and checked them out at our library and enjoyed them! I recommend both.

the outdoor camera caught the bottom one. some of the neighbors feed the deer so they are not leaving anytime soon. we just live with them. their favorite food in the garden is swiss chard and green bean leaves. its fun to watch them grow up.

IMG_5080look at this potato! it’s like a snowman potato!

IMG_5086a small potato harvest this year. mostly fingerlings. a few reds. i forgot what i had planted.

IMG_5091look at these caterpillars finishing our parsley! i think these are northern black swallowtail caterpillars? this one in the foreground looked like it was napping so i nudged it a bit and it looked up and out poked these orange eyeballs! pretty wild!


IMG_4826not together! but you may be able to make pesto from pigweed. i will need to research further. first batches of pesto included sunflower seed and pumpkin seed!

IMG_4838pigweed (amaranth) comes up every year in my raised beds. i have no idea where it comes from since i usually pull it before it goes to seed. I guess I don’t get it all. It gets quite tall and seems to support other plants that like to topple over like dill! Here is what I learned about it: It’s edible, a companion plant that serves as a trap for leaf miners; it shelters ground beetles which prey upon insect pests; breaks up hard soils for neighboring plants. Now I feel guilty for pulling it.


IMG_4801If you went to camp you probably learned about this one: Broadleaf Plantain. Introduced from Europe in the 1600s. It loves poor soil conditions which we must have. It can be crushed or chewed and applied directly to stings, bug bites, rashes, and more. Lately, I came into contact with something itchy and I used the leaves mostly as a wash rag with water and wiped my arms down. I can’t really say if the plantain worked or the water worked but the itching did stop immediately. Now I don’t know about the stem! I’ll research that eventually.

IMG_4806this is not a weed! It’s my string beans surrounded by baby weeds! I’m showing this to you because the deer are eating all the leaves but the plant still grows the beans. Incredible!

IMG_4809This is purslane which I have A LOT of every year! I munch on this while I’m weeding. I love it and it is a ‘superfood’! I found this information last year and I’m sorry that I’m not crediting who wrote about it.

purslane: boasts the highest-yet-measured levels of omega-3 fatty acids in a plant. It is also high in vitamin A and vitamin C, and vitamin B complex, calcium magnesium and potassium.