Grow Your Own
September is the time to plant mustard greens, spinach and turnips, and to start thinking about cover crops for those beds you won’t be using this winter. Cover crops add nutrients to the soil, help prevent erosion, and crowd out weeds. Crimson clover is our favorite; it provides forage for both bees and chickens, and the blooms make a striking addition to spring bouquets. Clemson Extension recommends a mix of three-fourths a pound of winter wheat and one-half a pound of crimson clover for an easy winter garden cover (for 1000 square feet).
October is a good time to plant onions and garlic. When choosing varieties of onion sets, you’ll need to decide whether you’d like to have good “keepers”—varieties that will store well in bins—or if you’d rather have a wider array of choices and depend on other preservation methods, like freezing. Onions also are listed as either “short day” or “long day.” Short day onions are best for the Upstate. The name comes from the fact that the shorter days of spring are required to initiate bulbing in those varieties.
Vicario Spirits, the brainchild of Slow Food leaders Janette Wesley and Renato Vicario, brings a whole line of fantastic Italian-style liqueurs and brandies to the Upstate, some distilled from fruits and herbs grown at their villa in Cortona, and some from right here at home. Our fall favorite is their Nocino Walnut Liqueur, the perfect dessert. You can find it at Northampton Wines, and online at www.salutellc.com.