There's nothing like sunflower season, cheerfully giving back some glory to the Sun:
The sunflower heads you see at the top of the following picture were volunteers in the tomato patch. I think they were dropped there by birds going to and from the feeders. Normally I would wait to cut the heads for drying after the flowers had wilted more, but since the birds were already pecking at them I figured they know more than I do. Also pictured is a fist-sized 'Waltham' broccoli head, another one that was supposed to wait until fall. And of course a basket of beans, which are still coming on strong; in fact, this was the second basket this week.
In the following photo are four of the eleven zucchini harvested this week, and maybe half of the tomato harvest for the week. Some of the zucchini was put by The Kitchen Goddess into Chocolate Zucchini Bread, after seeing several Harvest Monday people doing it. Also, something new! A handful of hot 'Cherry Bomb' peppers.
A "few" carrots were taken:
Not to worry, this is only about a third of the first planting from April 17. And there is a second planting of the same amount. I'm beginning to wonder what I was thinking. There is a disturbing number of deformed ones...is it just soil compaction or is there something weird about the soil chemistry that can cause this? No matter, cut up no one will ever know!
This was the biggest one:
Still a few blueberries; just enough for The Kitchen Goddess to make blueberry compote, sweetened with our own pure maple syrup, for Sunday morning pancakes.
Normally I let the corn stalks dry in the field, but this time I decided to cut them off and start composting them when they were still green. No point in them sucking up more soil nutrients than they should. You may ask why I did not just pull them up. The simple answer: I like the way corn stubble looks poking out of the snow.
I managed to take a dozen or so "baby" corn ears from the above cutting. Yes, there is a reason I'm not displaying a photo of them peeled. Whatever ate the corn silks prevented them from fully filling out. But we still got the "taste" of corn.
I haven't talked much about our grapevines yet. We inherited three 12-foot trellises with old vines when we bought the property, and have added two more. At some point they made wine here, because we found a few empty labelled bottles in the barn. The inherited vines had been neglected for years. This year we really pruned them hard to try to rejuvenate them. They bounced back, and are behaving, but there is another problem. They are infected with black (or brown) rot, which causes the berries to wither on the stem into what is called "mummies." I've been spraying weekly with Liquid Copper fungicide, but it has had limited effect. Unless someone out there knows another organic preventative, I'm seriously thinking about moving on to the harder stuff, as much as it pains me.
Given the large number of mummies, which should be removed from the area to help stop re-infection, we decided to pick all the grapes we could find, ripe or not. So this might look like a pretty good haul, but very little is usable.
Good news on the squash front. Last weekend I crawled around on my hands and knees picking off all the Squash Bug eggs and nymphs I found. By this weekend there was no further sign of them.
Finally, the crowning glory of this week's harvest. Our first 'Minnesota Midget' muskmellon!
It was fully ripe, juicy, and luscious. Nothing like it!
Thanks for reading, and here's to full harvest baskets!
Beautiful sunflowers and really nice harvest! Love the carrots and beans.ReplyDelete
Deformed or not, to have such nice big carrots is great! Mine rarely get bigger than my thumb. Beautiful melon!ReplyDelete
I found that beefing up the soil does wonders for carrot production. I guess that's not surprising. Thanks for reading my blog.Delete
Everything looks wonderful! Your carrots are perfect and those grapes? They look completely delicious! I have neither right now (the carrots aren't ready and we not a single grape on our tiny little vine)! Enjoy the bounty!ReplyDelete
Thank you! Like I said, you can't really see the gross fungused grape mummies. Hope your vine doesn't get black rot.Delete
Great looking harvest!! We are looking every day for our first ripe melon!! Yours looks great. The funny shaped carrots are most likely due to the compacted soil. Carrots like soft fluffy soil to grow straight. But like you said, it doesn't matter once they in the cooking pot so no worries!!ReplyDelete
You're right, no worries. I actually did not think we were ever going to get any melons. Hope yours come in soon.Delete
Impressive sized carrot. I always go for the big fat ones. The rest looks nice, too!ReplyDelete
I actually prefer the long slender ones, but as garderners we take what we are dealt! Thanks for your comment.Delete
Lovely harvest! Your carrots look great to me. I have difficulty growing spring/summer carrots. I also inherited grape vines on my property. They were neglected and were growing up the pine trees that surround our property. We trimmed them down to more manageable levels and they have provided us with an abundant harvest for several years. So sorry to hear about the black or brown rot affecting your plants. I wish I had some advice for you. Just be sure to clean up any debris and mummified grapes to prevent infection in next years crop.ReplyDelete
Thank you! Yes, the grapes are a tragedy. I tried to remove all mummies at the start of the season, but to no avail. As I said, I think I will resort to a non-organic fungicide.Delete
Wow, that is a beefy looking carrot. Overall, it looked like a good harvest week :-)ReplyDelete
Sorry about the grapes. They're always such a pain, especially with the amount of airflow that you need to give them
Another possibility with your carrots - they are very sensitive to water. Too much or too little and the carrots fork. In my garden, it is usually too little water - even with a soaker hose. One hose to water 3 rows in an area 18" wide isn't enough - the carrots furthest from the hose fork the most.ReplyDelete
That is very interesting. I have four 1/4 in. driplines in each 4' wide bed, watering for 10 minutes a day. The next time I pull carrots I will see if most of the forked ones are further away from the lines. Thank you very much for the advice.Delete