Well, its pretty much over. The garden, that is. It’s pretty much dead. What a year! I feel sad and relieved at the same time, if that’s possible.
Friday night after the Adrian Farmer’s Market Dan and I picked everything out of the garden by flashlight. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and squash. The kitchen floor is now covered with boxes and boxes of squash! A six foot table is covered with Roma tomatoes ripening from the sun streaming through the patio doors, waiting for their fate to be decided: will it be ketchup or BBQ sauce?
We covered the pumpkins with a tarp, hoping to leave then on the vine, but when I removed the tarp the next morning the vines were still dead. So we cut the pumpkins off so they wouldn’t rot from the inside. This variety is called Amish Pie Pumpkin and have an interesting light orange color and heart shape.
They are resting in the garage until needed, but unfortunately as I was cleaning out the garden I left the garage door open and the chickens got to them. Grrr!! They pecked my pumpkins!!
So that one will have to be a pumpkin pie sooner than later.
I spent most of the day Monday and Tuesday cleaning out vines, plants and weeds out of the garden to prep it for next Spring’s planting. They look kind of sad and empty.
All that remains in the “small” garden is Dill, which I’m leaving to seed out, the Swiss Chard, which is making a valiant attempt to continue, and the popcorn to continue drying down. It’s called Strawberry popcorn due to its dark red color and heart shape.
I finished cleaning out the big garden yesterday. Removing the tomato cages and fence posts were a serious workout! Who needs Jillian when I have the garden?
The potatoes have been dug up and are curing in the garage next to the pumpkins, while the carrots aare all in the basement refrigerator. Some of the plants love this cool weather, particularly those in the Brassicas family: broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage. I was surprised by the parsley and hyssop doing so well.
The bright purple hyssop flowers give some rich color to an otherwise brown garden landscape. This is the first year we’ve grown brussels sprouts and it has been a learning experience, to say the least. We love eating them and usually roast them, and toss them with a balsamic glaze reduction and craisins. It’s the best! I didn’t really know how they grew, so maybe you don’t either. Here is a picture of the whole plant, and then a close up of the “sprouts.”
As I cleared out dead plants I discovered a few spring plants that had re-seeded and were doing well, including some lettuce and spinach. We may get one more fresh salad before winter!
The hens are laying around seven eggs a day and we should be expecting 14 eggs a day in the next week or so. Here’s some of the superstars:
The goats are locked into some permanent fencing since we don’t have spare hours to move the fence around. They aren’t too happy about switching over to hay, but they were so happy when I brought them some beet tops to eat!
Harvest season is a lot of fun, but also a TON of work. Here’s my list of things to do in the next two weeks: plant garlic, harvest beets and can pickled beets, harvest cabbage, harvest brussels sprouts, harvest last of broccoli, blance and freeze, can watermelon pickles, can ketchup, can BBQ sauce, can Pear Jam, cook and freeze pecked pumpkin, harvest and dry cucumber, pepper, jalapeno, watermelon, pumpkin and squash seeds, dig trenches and transplant 400 raspberry plants, put up the plastic on the windows, move 40 chickens to the coop with the other chickens, and prepare the new garden section. Whew! I’m tired already! Anybody want to come help?
That’s our week on the farm! Have a safe and fun Harvest!