This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. But Skippy always stood by me and was a great friend. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps and garden with me. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

end of the season harvest

skippy and pumpkins 4
harvest
(click on the photo for vegetable names)

It was a good day for harvesting. Sunny and dry. No frost is in sight yet, but the days are getting so short and the warm weather crops aren't growing any more. I spread everything out before packing it into bags.

I picked all my chiles, eggplants, squashes, onions and pumpkins. Many of the onions hadn't bulbed, but they are nice "spring onions". These beds are now ready to clear, compost and seed with cover crop.

I picked two heads of savoy cabbage and a small purple one.

The best were the pumpkins. Three big blue/gray Jarrahdale pumpkins and another Big Rock orange pumpkin (about 10 lbs). Several Baby Pam pumpkins. And a few squash: a last not-quite-ripe butternut, and a few summer squash.

I pulled lots of carrots, fat Oxhearts and long Boleros. I had been leaving a couple Oxhearts to see how big they wold get. One rotted inside, but the other is a big fat root that weighed 1 lb 1 oz!

I pulled one parsnip and one celeriac root. The celeriac is small (I have 4 more in the ground) but it smells incredibly good. The parsnip surprised me at how nice and big it was. The rest (about a dozen) will wait til after frost.

I pulled some winter radish, something new I tried this year. Its a mix of several varieties. Four fantastic Black Round Spanish radish! Several pink striped ones I'm not familiar with. I was amazed and look forward to these in martinis!

And lots of beets. Wonder if we'll be able to eat all these. I grew three varieties this year, Chiogga, Lutz and White Detroit. I actually haven;t tried them yet. So many other vegetables round, that I've been popping these in the basement fridge. They'll keep at least 3 months. I'm looking forward to a taste test. The White Detroit have been the most productive.

I dug a few potatoes, but it was getting dark, so I didn't make much progress on this bed. Only half of the bed is dug so far.

I picked flowers while I was at it. Garish orange nasturtiums, big pink zinnias, an airy yellow weed from my squash bed, and lots of the deep purple pods and flowers of hyacinth beans.

At the last minute, I remembered my sweet potatoes. I've been so curious to see what was growing under ground on my first sweet potatoes I've ever grown. Jennifer gave me several slips this spring. And (so exciting!) two nice big tubers. A pale yellow-orange variety, long and thin. I'll have to ask Jennifer the variety.

It was difficult to get the silly plastic wheelbarrow up to the car. Fortunately someone gave me a hand over the steep rocky area by the parking lot. Everything made it home.
pumpkins in the wheelbarrow skippy and my pumpkins
big leaves packed up harvest
flower harvest sweet potatoes

Labels:

21 Comments:

Blogger buckeye207 said...

Woohoo! Awesome pumpkins. Can Skippy complete a photo op or what?! Your blog has been a fantastic resource all summer as I've worked through the trials and triumphs of my first garden. It makes sense that your garden should have good karma and a great harvest. Congrats!

October 08, 2009 12:16 PM

 
Blogger hip chick said...

I have so enjoyed following your garden this season. I think I will enjoy watching you put it to bed when it gets to be time to do that as well.
I can hardly believe that the pumpkins are upon us already.

October 08, 2009 12:20 PM

 
Blogger TSannie said...

Jealous, very very jealous! Looks like you'll have lots to sustain you through the winter. Nice!

October 08, 2009 12:48 PM

 
Blogger Karen Anne said...

Wow, that looks great.

I really have to figure out better what to plant as a single person and how to store it. Now I am thinking maybe a frig in the garage, although I don't like to use energy to do stuff... There is just no place remotely suitable for a root cellar.

October 08, 2009 3:01 PM

 
Blogger Jenny wren's nest said...

Thanks for taking time to get pictures to show us, That is a great pic of skippy and the pumpkins.
Jenny

October 08, 2009 3:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My gosh, your harvest looks delicious/wonderful!!! Your sweet potatoes grew nicely considering the not so overly warm summer we had!

~Felicia~

October 08, 2009 8:18 PM

 
Blogger Dan said...

That is one nice fall harvest, certainly rivals my 4 small melons :-) The grey squash is cool, you always have interesting squash. I picked out the black radish right away, I am growing them this fall but they are just growing leaves so far. Your shots have very nice saturation, the nice sunny day makes all the difference!

October 08, 2009 9:36 PM

 
Blogger Thomas said...

Kathy, this is quite a harvest! You must be so thrilled.

Also, on your earlier post about garlic, I received my garlic order from seed savers today but am debating when to plant. Is there a specific date you like to plant your garlic?

October 08, 2009 9:57 PM

 
Blogger pion said...

This week I pressed my first grape wines, red & white. They are fermenting. I will bottle in the spring. Next my cabbages will go to sauerkraut. This leaves my witloof or Belgian endive & a few brussels sprouts. My larder is filling up. Can hardly wait to taste that wine. Oh yes, some green tomatoes will go to a confiture de tomate vert. Bravo. John Chypre

October 08, 2009 10:05 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

Same with us for the root cellar Karen Anne. We got a little fridge forth basement for the root crops. Working good so far. Too bad to have another plug.

Felicia, I am so amazed at the Sweets harvest! I never thought. Others who planted many seem to have done well. Some gardeners here have half their plot planted in sweet potatoes. I think I'll do more next year.

Dan, Thanks for photo complement. I'm struggling with intense fall lighting. Thinking of looking for a class or prof advice. I toned down sat with photoshop. I should probably have a filter. Don't know how to step down exp time. Argh.

October 08, 2009 11:05 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

pion, you must eat (and drink) very well. Sounds fantastic. What's a larder? Does my basement fridge full of roots count as a larder?

Thomas, I am going by the date posted earlier by pion for planting garlic - October 21. Sounds like a very good day for planting garlic this year. The second half of my garlic order just shipped yesterday and should be here soon. Plus or minus a week or two of the 21st should be fine.

October 08, 2009 11:12 PM

 
Blogger zippiknits said...

We are painting a pumpkin teapot in ceramics club and your pictures are an inspiration for doing that. I cannot thank you enough for the details you've provided. Well, I'll thank you again and again. And thank you. heehee. thanks!

October 09, 2009 1:13 AM

 
Blogger Leslie said...

Way to go on the sweet potatoes. I interplanted mine in the garlic bed this year on Memorial Day and it worked out perfectly. The garlic harvest did not disturb the slips.

October 09, 2009 8:00 AM

 
Blogger Garden Dreamer said...

Kathy,

Amazing. Your photo is actually like seed catalog to me. I will definitely be growing the zephyr squashes, choggia beets, sweet potatoes and savoy cabbage next year. Only wish my plot was as big as yours. Infact I have requested for a bigger plot(actually land not in use) in my community garden. Hope I get lucky.

So did u clear out the eggplant, pepper plants out of the soil?

October 09, 2009 8:59 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your readers with late season herb and vegetable gardens may well find that they will grow more than they can use, preserve or give to friends.

They may want to visit www.AmpleHarvest.org - a site that helps diminish hunger by enabling backyard gardeners to share their crops with neighborhood food pantries.

The site is free both for the food pantries and the gardeners using it.

More than 990 food pantries nationwide are already on it and more are signing up daily.

It includes preferred delivery times, driving instructions to the pantry as well as (in many cases) information about store bought items also needed by the pantry (for after the growing season).

AmpleHarvest.org enables people to help their community by reaching into their back yard instead of their back pocket.

Lastly, if your reader's community has a food pantry, they should make sure the pantry registers on www.AmpleHarvest.org. Its free.

October 09, 2009 10:11 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have put sweet potato down on our list for next year as well as a few of the heirloom tomatoes you grew this year. We saw a "cute" as my 3 year old calls it, squash called the lakota in a seed catalog that we will grow next year, has anyone tried this squash before? Does it taste good or is it more of just a looker? next season will be our second year in our garden and we already have it plotted out in our minds! Thanks for the many ideas and inspirations!

~Felicia~

October 09, 2009 9:34 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

Felicia,

I also would like to try Lakota. I planted seeds last year and this and they sprouted into big seedlings, then I'm not sure what happened to them. I will try again next year. From descriptions I've read it sounds like a good tasting as well as a cute squash.

October 09, 2009 11:08 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

Garden Dreamer, I pulled all my eggplant and peppers and most found their way into the compost bin so far. On my next garden work day, I put the rest in.

October 09, 2009 11:11 PM

 
Blogger Matron said...

What a lovely time of year! It is what we work so hard all year for.

October 10, 2009 1:36 PM

 
Blogger pion said...

does my basement fridge . . .

Yup, it's your larder + any other storage space like a pantry.

Larder (n) ME. fr. Anglo-French, fr. lard, 14 C, perhaps akin to Gk larinos fatted, fat. Can also mean a boutique for gourmet food.

Mine is like yours: dried foods, frozen, refrigerated, canned. It's an extension of the garden, a signifier of one's love of gardening.

To preserve food...winter...larder...neolithic...
gravlax...Swedish. Grav = grave & lax = salmon. It's placed into a cache or larder and in winter it can be dug up and eaten. All goes back to squirrels you know.

The purpose of all biological life is:
1. survival in a Darwinian world.
2. reproduction.
3. (applies only to our species:) to understand what it's all about.

For #1 a larder is most useful. Same for #2, sex & food are synergistic or it's arduous to have ardor when you are starving. As for #3, a larder is not required; however, good food & wine greatly enhance our contemplation of the universe and more relevantly ease our final exit.

October 10, 2009 10:47 PM

 
Blogger kathy said...

I don't know pion. I kind of think the garden/larder is the answer to 3.

October 11, 2009 11:05 AM

 

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