Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Greens

I am not very organized or successful at fall planting. Transplants usually suffer from heat and bolt early or get eaten by hungry deer. My attempt at fall gardening this year was to fill the former 4x4 garlic bed with some fall seeds, protect it from cabbage butterflies and deer, and see what happens.

It has been a while since I peeked under the row cover, but I could see some green was growing through the cover. I was hoping it wasn't weeds.


I was surprised when I lifted the cover that the plants spilled out. There is a bit of a slug party going on. I will have to remember to put down some sluggo once the rain stops.


Growing very well is Kale, Kolabri, Carrots, Pak Choi, and Spinach. I even spotted a tomato plant growing among the greens. The seed probably came from the compost. Lettuce is a no show. The seeds are old and will be tossed.


I thinned out the Kale and enjoyed some with dinner simply sautéed with olive oil and garlic. Yum! I am looking forward to more greens soon.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Potato Dig: A Nice Beginning

I began digging up the potatoes this week. I am very impressed so far. These are Dark Red Norland potatoes and most are pretty good sized.



Much better looking potatoes than last year. I can't wait to see what else is beneath the soil.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Harvest Monday: September 24, 2012

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

A frost advisory was predicted for a few nights this week. I harvested a lot of the remaining peppers just in case. We didn't end up having a frost, but it was close for several nights in a row:

Yolo Wonder, Horizon Orange, and a few Quadrato Rosso D'Asti

Maybe Cubanelle Peppers?
Maybe Cubanelle Pepper?

The seed package for the above peppers say Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers and it took most of the summer before I realized that these were actually something else. The peppers are more light green than yellow, there is no heat, and they didn't grow upright like Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers. It's a nice pepper, just not what was expected.

The Chile de árbol have about a hundred peppers on the plants but are ripening very slowly. I may need to harvest them green but should still add spice to Tex-mex and Asian dishes:

Chile de árbol

The last of the Concord Grapes were harvested:

Concord Grapes

A few handfulls of raspberries are enjoyed every few days:

Raspberries

I tried growing Back Valentine Bush Beans for the first time this year because of it's versatility as both a snap bean and a dried bean. The deer reduced overall yield but I did get enough for some fresh eating and some seed for next year:

4 oz. Back Valentine Beans 

I attempted to sprout a sweet potato from the grocery store as an experiment. I think my potato was treated with sprout inhibitor because I was only able to get one slip from the whole potato. I planted it and hoped for the best. It began to grow and vine out but then the deer continued to munch on the foliage. Even with the challenges, this pant produced 6 oz. of sweet potatoes:

6 oz Sweet Potatoes

Some tomatoes are still ripening on the kitchen counter but after last week most of my tomato processing is finished. Once ripe, the tomatoes are now washed and frozen to be used later. There are a few good-sized green tomatoes in the garden. I am hoping they start to ripen before frost.

Started fall garden cleanup this past week. It was nice to dig in the dirt again. There is still so much to be done to put the garden to bed for the winter.

Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Wicked Windy Wednesday

The degrading wood combined with the top-heavy bean vines was no match for the whipping wind Wednesday night.


Thursday morning found two of the bean trellises on the ground. Up until then the beans were still producing, but I wasn't too upset since we have enough canned and frozen beans for the winter months. I did salvage some beans for fresh eating.


Luckily nothing IN the bed was damaged either. I only had some bush beans in this bed that I was allowing to go to seed. The second bed still has New Zealand spinach, but the trellis didn't harm that either.

K helped me wrestle the trellises to the side of the garden. I will wait for the vines to die back then clean up and try to salvage the nylon trellis netting. The wood will be allowed to dry then burned in our woodstove this winter.

The 4x4 raised beds will need to be rebuilt next year along with new trellis structures. I used pine for the current beds and it only lasted three years. I may invest in cedar instead of pine this time. Especially for the north side of the bed where the trellis structure is screwed in. When I first built the beds, I wasn't sure if raised gardening would work for me. I have found that I like some of the features of growing crops in a raised bed so these will remain in the garden spot.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Harvest Monday: September 17, 2012

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

I am amazed at how quickly the seasons have changed this year from summer to fall. We held on to warm temperatures into early September as remnants of a hurricane and a tropical storm brought some humid weather and rain. Since then the temperatures have been lowering rapidly and are much more fall-like.

The nights are getting colder and some parts of Maine are beginning to experience frost. I harvested most of the larger peppers this week:

Quadrato Rosso D'Asti Sweet Peppers

Marconi Rosso Sweet Peppers

Chile de árbol

Anaheim Peppers

Some of the larger bell peppers were reserved to make stuffed peppers this week and some went into another batch of canned Zesty salsa. However, most were sliced into strips and frozen. The strips are easy to use for fajitas and can be chopped down further for other recipes.

Still producing are pole beans, New Zealand spinach, peppers, herbs, leeks, bunching onions, and a few tomatoes still ripening on the vines. Many tomatoes are still ripening on the kitchen counter and a sink full is ready to be processed today into a batch of salsa. Some bush beans that escaped deer damage have produced some dried pods for next year's seed.

The garden has been neglected lately and it shows. Between hot temperatures, preserving the harvest, and graphic design projects there hasn't been time. The majority of the garden is begging to be cleaned up and the grass paths between the beds are in need of trimming. Hopefully I will be able to do some much-needed cleanup this week.

I still need to decide where to plant the garlic and the potatoes are in need of digging. The grapes are in need of harvesting. Although yield will be lower than last year, there should still be enough for some grape jelly.

I did start some fall crops in a 4x4 raised bed. Growing under protection is some kale, kolabri, spinach, carrots, and pak choi. I sprinkled some lettuce seed in this bed, but none germinated. I don't look under the floating row cover much, but the last time I did most of these crops are growing but are showing slug damage. I will take a look again this week.

Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Fox

We've been sharing the grapes, raspberries, and apples with fox this year.  I spotted this one out the kitchen window either taking a nap in the long grass under the grapevines or stalking prey.




I was lucky to get a few pictures. Almost as soon as I zoomed and focused my camera, she calmly and silently got up and slipped into the woods.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Harvest Monday: September 10, 2012

Each Monday, Daphne’s Dandelions hosts “Harvest Monday” where everyone can share links to their harvest for the week. It’s fun to see what everyone is harvesting from his or her gardens in different areas.

Cooler nights, reduced sunlight, disease, insects, deer damage, and diminishing nutrients, are all taking its toll in the garden spot. Most of the plants are slowing down and are looking very tattered and tired.

Peppers are still going strong thanks to some really warm weather. Last time I showed peppers for Harvest Monday I mentioned that it is very rare for my peppers to ripen. Within only a few days of posting this I was thrilled to see some color:



Powdery mildew and squash bugs killed the squash, cucumbers, and melons early. I have never had much of a problem with squash bugs until this year. I rescued the last of the Sweet Dumpling squash, and Delicata:



Deer walk through the garden often now munching on random foliage along the way. They ate my bush beans early in the season and continue to feed on the foliage of the pole beans every now and then. Luckily the tops of the pole beans continue to produce and provided me with enough beans for fresh eating and I have canned several cases of pint jars to enjoy over the winter:



Early blight affected the Roma tomatoes near the beginning of the season reducing overall yield. Luckily the first wave of tomatoes that formed was numerous and most of these ripened before the plants completely succumbed. Early blight eventually affected the other tomatoes in the garden as it does every year but there are some fruit hanging in there and ripening every day. The kitchen counter is still piled high with ripening tomatoes. I have several more weeks of tomato processing ahead of me but I know the end is near:




We picked the first small batch of Concord Grapes this week. These were washed and frozen for now but will be used for either jelly or wine.


The last of the corn was harvested. There are a few small ears left on the stalks but they don't seem to be growing. We enjoyed about a dozen freshly harvested ears of corn this year and froze some for later:



Be sure to visit Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting this week.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Thank You, 1st Man!!

A very special package arrived in the mail this week. Earlier this month 1st Man at Two Men and a Little Farm held a drawing to celebrate 200 followers. The prize was The Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis. I was the lucky winner!!



Thank you so much, 1st Man for such a lovely prize. I am looking forward to paging through it this weekend. Congratulations again on achieving 200+ followers. I know your readership will continue to grow.

If you haven't discovered Two Men and a Little Farm yet, I urge you to visit.