- Author: Julie Hyske, Master Gardener
When in doubt, eat dessert first! These mini pumpkin Oreo cheesecakes will be the star at any of your fall events. They are so fall and yummy, these are the show-stoppers. The maple walnut cookies make a chewy treat. Think warm tea, cozy blanket, and enveloping yourself in comfort. And if you can think about dinner after the goodies, you won't be disappointed by the balsamic pork tenderloin with harvest vegetables. The sticky finger-licking sauce on the tenderloin is surrounded by healthy Brussels sprouts and butternut squash, all ready to serve in short order. Next is a pretty apple, pecan, blue cheese salad that is both crunchy and healthy. Finally, the maple bacon sweet potato hash can be served with eggs for breakfast or apple chicken sausages for dinner. You won't be disappointed. This savory dish is autumn in a skillet. So when the weather cools down and you reach for a sweater, remember it's the perfect time to try your hand at a new favorite fall recipe!
2 (8 ounces each) packages cream cheese, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp sour cream
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (13 ounce) can Reddi Whip
Preheat the oven to 350. Place 18 cupcake liners in cupcake/muffin pans. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and flour and beat until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until mixed in. Place half of an Oreo, frosting side up, in the bottom of 18 cupcake liners and spoon the batter into the liners. Place the other half of an Oreo into the top of the batter, frosting side down. Bake for 24 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to finish cooling. Keep refrigerated. Crush the remaining two cookies. Top the cheesecakes with Reddi Whip and cookie crumbs.
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups self-rising flour
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 tsp maple extract
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp maple extract
4 tbsp milk
½ cup chopped walnuts for garnish
Preheat oven to 350. Combine butter, sugars, eggs, flavoring and salt and beat until just combined. Add flours, 1 cup at a time. If dough is sticky to the touch, add more self-rising flour in ¼ cup increments until smooth. Stir in walnuts. Scoop dough onto insulated baking sheets one dozen at a time. Bake in center of oven 10 to 13 minutes until cookies are puffy and beginning to turn tan. Remove from oven and let cool on a baking rack. Meanwhile, mix icing ingredients until texture is smooth and thick. Add more milk or sugar to achieve a creamy texture. Ice cookies and, if you wish, garnish with additional chopped walnuts.
Makes 2 ½ dozen
1 pork tenderloin pkg.
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, rinsed and halved
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
Parmesan, for garnish
The balsamic rosemary sauce
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
¾ cup fresh rosemary leaves
1 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
½ bouillon cube, crumbled
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
Preheat the oven to 450. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic cloves, rosemary leaves, Italian seasoning, honey, hot sauce, crumbled bouillon cube, and pepper until the marinade is emulsified and has a syrupy consistency. Transfer the sauce to a bowl or jar. In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the pork tenderloin and cook, turning frequently, until brown on all sides, about 10-12 minutes. In the meantime, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread halved Brussels sprouts and diced butternut, season with salt and pepper onto the pan and toss with a tablespoon olive oil. Push veggies to a side to make room for the pork tenderloin. Once browned, transfer the pork tenderloin onto the sheet pan. Baste the tenderloin thoroughly with half the balsamic sauce and add a quick drizzle to the Brussels sprouts. Roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the pork is done and the Brussels sprouts are nicely browned. Cut the pork tenderloin into thick 1/2-inch slices and serve with the other half of balsamic sauce over the top. Sprinkle the roasted Brussels sprouts with Parmesan before serving. Enjoy!
12 ounces salad greens (spring mix)
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecan halves
6 ounces blue cheese crumbles
2 whole apples red and green, cored, sliced thin
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp coarse ground mustard
3 tbsp honey
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Add the greens, cranberries, pecans, cheese and apples into a large salad bowl. Mix the olive oil, mustard, honey and vinegar in a small jar and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake well to mix. Pour a little of the salad dressing over the top of the salad and toss to combine. Taste the salad and add more dressing to taste.
Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash
4 cups sweet potatoes, chopped (about 2-3 medium sweet potatoes)
1 green pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb bacon diced into bite-sized pieces
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste
Add bacon to a large skillet and turn the heat onto medium. Cook, stirring occasionally until it's just starting to crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Carefully drain all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease out of the skillet and return to the stovetop. Add diced sweet potatoes to the skillet and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the diced green pepper and onion. Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the potatoes and veggies are tender. Mix the cooked bacon back into the sweet potatoes and drizzle the maple syrup over the top. Serve up hot!
- Author: Lee Miller, UCCE Master Gardener
Smaller lavenders are ‘Hidcote' H 24" x W 24" and 'Munstead' which is H 18" x W 24"' both bloom from summer to early fall. ‘Sarah English' is a little over 12 inches tall with flowers that are petite just like the rest of the plant. ‘Sarah English' makes a nice short hedge and it is also a good size for container planting. The flower receptacle is a dark purple which contributes to an overall medium purple flower color. Later in the season, you can gather the leaves and flower heads for scented sachets, pomanders and potpourri. There are many more lavenders including some that are pink and white as well as other species. Lots of lavenders to choose from that will add color and fragrance as well as fill in spots in your garden landscape.
- Author: Marcy Sousa
Broadleaf mistletoe (Phoradendron macrophyllum)
Leafy mistletoes have green stems with thick leaves that are nearly oval in shape. Plants often develop a rounded form up to 2 feet or more in diameter. The small, sticky, whitish berries are produced from October to December. Evergreen clumps of mistletoe are readily observed on deciduous trees in winter when leaves are off the trees. Mistletoe plants are either female (produce berries) or male (produce only pollen).
For good control, remove branches at least 1 foot below the point of mistletoe attachment. Simply cutting off mistletoe from trees can reduce spread, but it won't provide control. If it's not possible to remove the infested trunk or a major branch, prune off the mistletoe and wrap the infested area of the tree with sturdy black polyethylene plastic secured with twine or tape to exclude light. Leave on for up to two years until the mistletoe dies, replacing plastic that becomes torn. For more information and other control suggestions, click here.
Scales are sucking insects that insert their tiny, straw-like mouthparts into bark, fruit, or leaves, mostly on trees, shrubs, and other perennial plants. Some scales can seriously damage their host, while other species do no apparent damage to
Some scale species, when abundant, weaken a plant and cause it to grow slowly. Infested plants appear water stressed, leaves turn yellow and may drop prematurely, and plant parts that remain heavily infested may die. The dead brownish leaves may remain on scale-killed branches, giving plants a scorched appearance. If the scale produces honeydew, this sticky excrement, sooty mold, and the ants attracted to honeydew can annoy people even when scales are not harming the plant.
Many species are usually well controlled by beneficial predators and parasites (natural enemies). A well-timed and thorough spray of horticultural (narrow-range) oil during the dormant season, or soon after scale crawlers are active in late winter to early summer, can provide good control of most species of scale. Because ants attack and feed on scale parasites and predators, control ants if they are tending scales. For more information and other control suggestions, click here.
Catchweed bedstraw, Galium aparine, is an annual weed belonging to the Madder (Rubiaceae) family, can be found throughout most of the world. The species name “aparine” comes from a Latin word meaning “to seize,” which is very appropriate considering the clinging nature of this weed.
- Author: Cheryl Carmichael, Master Gardener
PULSE, n. from the Latin word puls meaning porridge of beans, peas, etc.
1. the edible seed of peas, beans, lentils or any similar plants producing pods.
2. any plant producing pulse.
A legume is a category of plants that produce seeds in pods that split open on two sides to reveal the fruits. When used as a dry grain the seed is called a pulse. Plants in this category are grown for human consumption, forage or cover crops to fix nitrogen in the soil.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, to define legume crops that are harvested for dry grains, uses the term pulse. While green beans and peas are in the same plant family they are identified as “vegetables” because they are harvested while young and green. Other legumes that produce pods are excluded from the pulse group because they are harvested for oil extraction or forage. Horticulturally, most legumes are notable for their capacity to enrich the soil due to the symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots.
Common examples of a pulse include beans, lentils, and chickpeas. Common examples of legumes that are harvested for oil production are soybeans and peanuts. Examples of legumes that are grown for forage include alfalfa, clover.
For a fun, scientific video about the humble pulse check out America's Test Kitchen YouTube video called “The Science of Our Favorite Pulse, The Humble Chickpea/ What's Eating Dan?”
- Author: Lee Miller, Master Gardener
Fall is the time to think about planning for the coming bare-root season when fruit trees and other plants are available in the bare-root stage which makes them cheaper to purchase and handle. For most of us with small back yards, it is best to buy fruit trees that are dwarf so that we can have more trees and more variety on the site. Keeping trees to a height of 8 ft. will also mean you won't need a ladder for pruning. You can also find trees with multiple varieties grafted onto one rootstock and this will work well for conserving space and providing a variety of fruit. However, it is important to learn how to prune such trees as one variety may become dominant to the detriment of others.
Another consideration is pest problems. I once had a lot of apples in a rather large home orchard. In retrospect this was a mistake as codling moths were a problem that I could not effectively deal with so I lost a lot of apples to this pest. I also had indigenous fire blight and that was a problem for pears and apples. Usually, it is best to buy apple or pear cultivars that are firelight resistant. I remember one heirloom apple that I had that was about 6 years old and coming into production with lots of apples and it got fire blight which went right to the root and killed the tree which was a great disappointment for me. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, persimmons, figs and plums do well in home gardens.
When purchasing bare-root trees in stores where the roots are usually enclosed in plastic bags with wood shavings or moss to keep them moist, it is wise to make sure the bag is well sealed so that roots are not drying out. If possible, purchase early in the bare root season and get them in the ground ASAP. When planting, make sure that the root is at the same depth as in the nursery, thus keeping the graft site above the soil level.
To plan the home orchard, make sure water for irrigation is available. Drip systems and mini-sprinklers will work well and conserve water. Mulching will help conserve soil moisture. Also, trees will need at least 6 hours of sunshine to be productive.
Pruning the trees properly is extremely important as is fruit thinning to promote larger and better fruit. The first pruning after planting is one of the most important and simple cuts to make. The tree should be topped at about 24-30 inches from the ground and any shoots below that point should be reduced to one bud. This will invigorate the tree and get it off to a good start and also shape the tree to an open center which is desirable for most fruit trees.
Young trees should be encouraged to grow vegetatively for the first 3 years. I leave two or three fruits on the tree to get a taste, but heavy cropping is avoided to develop the tree structure which would be slowed by too much fruit. Some trees like cherries, pears and some apples, will require spreaders to help spread branches to a 45 degree angle.
Upright branches generally remain vegetative and vigorous. Horizontal branches generally are more fruitful. Remove any suckers, water sprouts, or branches growing straight up into the tree. Downward bending branches eventually lose vigor and produce only a few small fruit; remove the part hanging down.
For more information to inspire you and help you to on establishing the home orchard, visit our website.