Welcome to another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm. Thanks to Dave at Our Happy Acres for taking over from Daphne and letting us all continue to have fun with Harvest Monday.
I was just thinking how funny it is that in spring I show pictures of individual types of vegetables, but as the season progresses I go to more and more "group photos" because it's so boring otherwise.
There was a nice harvest on October 1, after our first drenching rains in a long time. On the left are two bonus zucchinis. I'd written the plants off a long time ago but then they started to show feeble signs of life. Pretty sure this is it, though. One of the "Aruba" pepper plants had toppled over from the weight of its fruit; I staked it back up but one fell off. Also there's a nice haul of cucumbers from the July planting, but the vines are rapidly wilting unfortunately. Even a late planting doesn't escape this. On the right are four various sized (though all small) watermelons. And the tomatoes? Well, they're tomatoes. That's all I can say. I throw away more than I keep at this stage because they're just in such bad shape.
The winter squash vines out in the "Survival Garden" never got going until way too late in the season. Here you see virtually the entire crop, which I took because I wanted to clean up.
The green one is a "Fairytale" pumpkin, that never had a chance to turn orange. Its vine was completely dead, so no point leaving it out there.
Here they are all tucked away down in the cellar, in the second of the two produce storage bins I built. I wrote about that here. Some of the Long Island Cheese pumpkins (squash) have strange blemishes that look like rot, but the skins are very hard so I think they'll be OK.
A Sunday harvest, which makes a pretty strange tableau.
The deep red peppers on the left are "Big Jim" chiles; the other peppers are "Aruba," "Big Bomb" (not living up to their name), a lone "Sweet Chocolate," and a solitary shishito. It was a bad year for peppers, as I've said before. You might also see some tiny yellow zucchini, which I took from the plants before tearing all of them out. We might be able to make something with them; maybe a stir fry. Also, of course, more ugly tomatoes.
I took all the "Mongolian Giant" sunflower heads from the garden. Here they are in the sunroom to finish drying, next to the red flint corn which is also drying there.
This one weighed over 3 pounds.
I was impressed with myself over that, but not two hours later we went to the 139th annual Deerfield Fair, and in the fruit and vegetable exhibit hall there were sunflower heads easily twice as big.
We had a great time at all the exhibits, and looking at the farm animals, antique tractors, and the oxen-pulling competition. Who knows, maybe next year we'll enter something!
As I said, I cleaned up the Survival Garden. I like to burn the cornstalks, but they don't dry well on the ground and so don't burn well. So, after taking 20 for traditional New England autumn decorations, we made a tipi out of the rest. They should dry better now.
The Kitchen Goddess's sister, seeing this photo, asked if we were planning to burn a witch.
That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, and again many thanks to Dave. Please show him your support.
You still have a nice mix of things coming in from the garden. And I'm impressed with that sunflower, no matter how big they were at the fair. I've tried late plantings of squash and cukes but PM always takes them down, so I gave up trying. Cucumber and squash both look great to me right now!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Dave. PM is only part of the problem, like I don't have enough problems.Delete
You had a nice assortment of things this week.ReplyDelete
Don't the birds start in on the sunflower heads before you can pick them? When I have had volunteers either the deer will eat them right off or the birds clean them out.
Thanks, Marcia. This year we tied cheesecloth over the sunflower heads. That might even discourage deer.Delete
Hmmm, witch burning, I thought those days were over... We don't burn anything around here, too afraid of wild fires. My chipper shredder takes care of the corn stalks and then they really fire up the compost. That's frustrating that the squash were such poor performers.ReplyDelete
Well, here in New England we have very long memories. And something has to be cursing my garden, right?Delete
I dumped one of my drying sunflower heads as it was too immature - first time I've done this so still waiting for the rest to fully dry to see if I did it right. Great mix of veggies, the carrots look fantastic! Every time I see someone's variety of winter squash, I think I want to grow every kind I can find. But then I remember the dreaded squash bugs I had this year ... ugh.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Susie. I've come to the belief that there are too many pests to let sunflowers dry in the field--if not birds, then some sort of bug that drills into the seeds. Oddly, squash bugs were not a problem this year, but the vine borer was.Delete
Well, I must say that I'm impressed by the size of that sunflower head, even if those at the fair were bigger...I think yours is plenty big. That's a great idea with the cheesecloth - my daughters sunflower was half eaten by what I'm guessing was birds, so we will have to remember that trick for next year. So I'm guessing no retirement pumpkin sales this year? ;)ReplyDelete
Haha, you remember the retirement pumpkins! Nope, retirement delayed another year, due to crop failure.Delete