September 27, 2019 Ina Garten Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, 1843 Chrysanthemums, Joy Morton, James Drummond Dole, John Burroughs, Elizabeth Bowen, Bonaro Overstreet, Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles by Jack Sanders, Your 2020 Garden, and Pick Blackberries before Michaelmas

What are you doing with all of your tomatoes?

If you're looking for a good recipe, I have a suggestion for you: Ina Garten's Roasted Tomato Soup.

A few years ago, I stumbled on Ina Garten's recipe for Roasted Tomato Soup - it's the best-roasted tomato basil soup recipe out there if you ask me! It's so good.

Ina's recipe calls for fresh tomatoes and herbs, and she doesn't use cream or milk. Best of all, Ina's soup is rich and full of flavor.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Gently toss the tomatoes from your garden with 1/4 cup of olive oil and layer on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste — roast for 45 minutes.

  3. In a large dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Sauté until onions are translucent and start to brown, about 10 minutes.

  4. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, roasted tomatoes, including the juices and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes, uncovered.

  5. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with drizzle of cream or dollop of sour cream, fresh parmesan, and side of grilled cheese.

So that's what I do with any extra tomatoes this time of year. Of course, pair it with a grilled cheese sandwich cut on the diagonal, and you'll have one of the comfiest meals ever!

I'll share the recipe in today's Show Notes.







#OTD On this day in 1843, the New England Farmer ran an ad about Chrysanthemums for nurseryman Joseph Breck:

"The subscribers offer for sale twenty varieties of new Chrysanthemums of the most superb and rare sorts, at 50 cents per pot."





#OTD   Today is the birthday of Joy Morton, who was born on this day in 1855.

Morton's father was J. Sterling Morton, the founder of Arbor Day and a former secretary of agriculture under President Cleveland. Not surprisingly, Joy's love of trees was instilled in him at a young age.

Raised on a farm in Nebraska, Joy Morton became a powerful businessman in Chicago with his company Morton Salt. Morton liked to hire young people, and then he promoted them gradually to vital positions in his organization.

In December 1922, Joy established The Morton Arboretum - a tract of land dedicated to the ongoing study of trees, shrubs, and grasses.

In 1923, Morton donated his family's Ancestral home, Arbor Lodge, to Nebraska, and the property became a state park and a memorial to his father.

An article from the Chicago Tribune in 1926, offered a glimpse of the passion Morton felt about trees. Speaking at the Arboretum, Morton said,

"I want to appeal to the gambling instinct of the American people. I want a man to come in here and say, 'What can I get out of tree planting?' I want to arouse his venturesomeness. A man old enough to think for himself comes in here and sees a group like that [pointing] group of walnuts over there which is doing so well, and then he says to himself,

'Well, how about it? What can I do now on my land that will mean something to my grandchildren thirty years hence? And, then I want him to keep looking at the walnuts, or what he likes best, until he says, I believe I'll go and do likewise.'"






#OTD   Today is the birthday of James Drummond Dole, who was born on this day in 1877.

Dole had gone to Harvard, and then after graduation at the age of 22, he made his way to Hawaii in 1899. After living there two years, he honed in on growing pineapple as a business. The Smooth Cayenne strain of pineapple wasn't native to Hawaii. It was a Florida variety. Sadly, the native variety, Kona, couldn't be grown commercially. So, Dole began growing 200 Smooth Cayenne pineapple plants on 60 acres. The rest is history.

Here are a few fun pineapple facts:

Pineapples have Bromelain; a chemical that prevents gelatin from setting. But, once pineapple is canned, the Bromelain is destroyed, which is why you can add canned pineapple to jello.

Christopher Columbus brought pineapples back to Spain from the Caribbean Island of Guadalupe in 1493.  The Spanish introduced pineapples to Hawaii.

Today, thanks to Dole, more than one-third of the world's commercial supply of pineapples comes from Hawaii.





Unearthed Words

How beautiful leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.

-John Burroughs


Autumn arrives early in the morning but Spring at the close of the day.

- Elizabeth Bowen


Autumn asks that we prepare for the future —that we be wise in the ways of garnering and keeping. But it also asks that we learn to let go—to acknowledge the beauty of sparseness. 

- Bonaro W. Overstreet





Today's book recommendation: Hedgemaids and Fairy Candles by Jack Sanders

This lovely little book is a personal favorite. It came out in 1995, and the subtitle is The Lives and Lore of North American Wildflowers. The hedgemaids referred to in the title is a reference to the common ground ivy, while Fairy Candles are the tall, white rockets of the native black cohosh, Actaea racemosa. 

In the book, Author Jack Sanders explores the lives and lore of more than 80 of North America's most popular wildflowers, describing the origins of their names, their places in history and literature, ancient uses and what uses they have now, where they grow, propagation and so forth. 

You can get used copies using the Amazon link in the Show Notes for as little as $.25!





Today's Garden Chore

Remember the things you want to keep top of mind about this year's garden and take a few minutes to write down some notes. Aside from what you liked and what was a bust, try to put together a list of things you'd like to do in your 2020 garden. Then, get your calendar out and sync up your goals with a timeline. If you want a pond installed by your kid's graduation, you need to be making calls now. If you know you need some mulch delivered first thing next Spring, put a reminder on your calendar for the middle of April - better yet, if you know how much you need, make a note of that as well.

All the minutia of our gardens that we think is unforgettable is lost to us once our lives get busy and the holidays roll around.

So grab a pumpkin spice latte and your favorite notebook, and start journaling for a more strategic start in your garden next year.





Something Sweet 
Reviving the little botanic spark in your heart

Sunday is the 29th of September - also known as Michaelmas. In the middle ages in England, farmers used Michaelmas as a way to mark the change of seasons; It was time to wrap up the reaping and start getting ready for winter.

And, according to folklore, bounty-thorn (the English folk-name for blackberries) need to be picked by Michaelmas because that was the day that Lucifer was expelled from Heaven. Now according to folklore, once he was cast out, Lucifer promptly fell straight into a blackberry bush. A blackberry bush would not make for a soft landing. Lucifer wasn't thrilled with it either. He supposedly cursed the blackberry fruit, making them unfit for consumption. So unless you want to eat tainted blackberries, get them picked before Sunday. And don't forget, blackberries make a lovely pie or crumble.





Thanks for listening to the daily gardener,
and remember:
"For a happy, healthy life, garden every day."

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