Friday, October 31, 2008

The Witching Day

All is wrapped up and cleared. Pulled up the zucchini plants today, got three little zucchinis out of it still, the last of the harvest. Last week I collected the chard and some collards which are now sitting in the freezer and some very small winter squashes which I am not sure are any good other than having decorative value. It's very strange, weird and spooky. Somehow appropriate for Halloween.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

starting to clear up

The season's end is here. Everything should be cleared by 31 October. I started on that yesterday.

A trip to the garden yesterday revealed no more cucumbers but again a few zucchinis. Harvested all the remaining green tomatoes - excellent as salsa and I will try fried green tomatoes tonight. More carrots. I also removed the few little ears of corn that were straggling, for use as guinea pig food. Only the rainbow chard and collards remain for harvesting. I left a few tiny winter squashes to see if they do something over the next week or so.

I took down the beans and removed all the rest of the plants, which generated an additional compost heap. Unfortunately, I missed the garden clear-up in the morning during which Parks & Recreation got rid of unwanted material with their truck.

Even at mid-afternoon the light is dimmer and the shadows longer. I've really enjoyed having this garden and I will miss it over the winter months.

This morning I had some delicious scrambled eggs (traded with produce from the garden) with zucchini (from the garden), mushrooms, neuf-chatel and spring onions and a side of sauteed Rose Finn Apple potatoes (also from the garden). I haven't really had to buy any vegetables from the supermarket recently (except lettuce for the piggies) and it'll be strange to be doing that again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

first frost warning


Which meant a quick trip to the garden to rescue what is possible before everything dies. Surprisingly, there were some good-sized zucchini and luckily they did not succumb to blossom end rot which happens so often when it gets damp and cold. Tomatoes are not ripening anymore but we harvested lots of green tomatoes for making chutneys and fried green tomatoes. There may be another batch of green beans (the ones that weren't forgotten and therefore grew to monster size) but I think it'll be only a small handful next week. I also nipped off the aubergines at a very small stage but they will be super in some stir-fry instead of being lost to a frost or rotting. Harvested enough large-ish carrots to actually get a taste of them before the guinea pigs get through them, and some more cucumbers. Got about 6 small ears of corn, which have now become the favourite piggie treat, husks and all - just as well, since there is not much on them.

The garden definitely has seen better days. I wonder if I get to harvest a winter squash before shutting teh garden down for the winter, they seem so small.

In the end the predicted frost didn't materialise in our area (although it dipped below freezing just outside Portland) but autumn is definitely here. Getting out to the garden before it gets dark is getting more difficult during the week. It was cold and my fingers started to get numb.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Potato fun

That's what the last batch of potatoes came out as. I also cooked up the previous batch last night which was delicious. The only problem was peeling them because they were so small. If the skin would have been thinner I bet they would have been delicious just cooked as they are.

Well, there's another problem. Labeling. I am pretty sure that none of the potatoes I harvested were the ones I originally thought they were. For example, the first batch I thought was Dark Red Norland probably weren't since they were purple. The second I labeled Rose Finn Apple but I'm pretty sure this isn't the case as the harvest of the third one fits that description much better. I have some variety called 'Butterfinger' listed in my notes but that could just be a Freudian slip. So, to review what I actually think is the case:

First potato - unidentified purple variety
Second potato - Butterfinger
Third - Rose Finn Apple

I can't complain really since I got them free from an anonymous gardener who left them in the potting shed. I have high hopes for the Rose Finn Apple, I hope they are as delicious as they are visually pleasing.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

crazy harvest stuff

Managed to nip to the garden in the break between downpours (of course, the weather now is turning nice as it rained itself out). After a week of not going to the garden I expected the worst. And in a way, it came to pass - the cucumbers have followed the beans in snapping the twine. Next year I will consider wire instead. The corn is also leaning, probably because it has been very windy over the last couple of days. Otherwise, the garden is looking surprisingly good after being neglected.

The winter squash are putting their tendrils up the fence - I didn't even know that they are climbers. I keep moving them to the ground but they keep insisting. I guess they win. Continuing to harvest the little carrots, more to come. The guinea pigs love them which means that the humans usually lose out. I also dug up the last batch of potatoes and they are amazing. I mean, what could be better? Come on - Potatoes! Funny shapes! Starch!

This week's harvest was the best yet, so much variety, a little bit of everything and not overwhelming like some summer harvests. Hopefully the weather holds a little bit longer. I will be sad when it all stops.

I bartered some produce for eggs, salsa and hot peppers last week which has rekindled my interest in keeping chickens again. When we didn't know what to do during the zucchini glut we simply had an adapted Greek dish with grated zucchini, eggs and dill (left out the usual flour since Toxicfingers is gluten intolerant). Eggs are so versatile and nutritious. (Hey, Twinkle, if you are reading this - any advice?) year maybe.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Everything's snapped

The beans got so heavy that they snapped the twine they were climbing on. The sunflowers' heads got so heavy that they just keeled over. God, my head feels heavy too...

A few things manage to hang on in there: I now have 4 cobs of corn growing (feeling them indicates that they may contain about 2 rows of corn if I'm lucky), I keep on harvesting nice little carrots (I think Ed Hume's Danvers Half Long are the ones that finally took) and the members of the nightshade family are plodding along.

The first little winter squash seems to have set. I will try and get a photo of it next time I go. It's funny, the "rogue" Kabocha plant that I got collecting seeds from a store-bought squash is doing much better than the fancy Marina Di Chioggia.

I am posting this to recap last weekend when I took the pictures. I haven't been out there for nearly a whole week so who knows what awaits me. It was very hot earlier this week but now it has started pouring. Today, I got my plot renewal form in the post showing that all the plots are taken! Yay for more community gardeners!