Monday, July 18, 2016

Harvest Monday - 18 July 2016

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. Here's this week's harvest roundup.

We picked the remaining garlic. The four on the right are German White, and the other 10 are Music. Not much difference dirty like this; maybe they'll be distinguishable when cured and cleaned.

Garlic is easy! I never realized it before. Step by step instructions:

  1. Plant 24 cloves in October.
  2. Do nothing.
  3. Cut 24 scapes in June. Enjoy.
  4. Pull 24 bulbs in July. Celebrate.
Okay, maybe "do nothing" includes a little weeding/fertilizing.

We got the first flush of "Carson" wax beans. Using up the 16 remaining seeds, maybe 13 survived. But they are productive.

Also the first major picking of seedless red raspberries (looking yellow in the photograph), and blueberries.

We are sharing the berries with the critters. The netting over the blueberry bushes is keeping out the birds, but the chipmunks just bull through.

We're still picking lettuce, snow and snap peas, carrots, and chard.

The peas and spring lettuce are getting tired, but the "summer crisp" lettuce is just getting going, so many more salads are in the forecast.

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading! There will be no post next week. The Kitchen Goddess and I are leaving for a "business incentive" trip to a location I am not permitted to disclose at this time. Very mysterious. TKG's mom will be watching the "farm" and cat, being paid in produce.

Thanks to Dave at Our Happy Acres for hosting Harvest Monday.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Harvest Monday - 11 July 2016

Welcome to another Harvest Monday update from Eight Gate Farm! Thanks again to Dave at Our Happy Acres for hosting Harvest Monday.

Since the last post, we had a short heat wave, followed by a period of unseasonably cool weather, which at least brought some badly needed rain. How cool? Well, sweatshirts for me, and I even saw smoke coming out of a neighbor's chimney. What are vegetables supposed to make of this?

We had a couple of first harvests this week. Our favorite has to be this:

That's right, our first-ever garlic, in all its dirty glory. The variety is "Georgian Fire," which I'm guessing is an early one. Though to tell the truth, the other two varieties are not far behind it. Not really knowing, it was a bit of a guess to decide to harvest it. Let's see...bottom leaves withering? Check. Soil dry? Check. Other gardeners picking? Check. Let's do it! We were really psyched to see the size of the bulbs.

Another first: "Blue Wind" broccoli. I've written that this year's broccoli was going to be a bust, given the pest damage the transplants received. So even though this is only billiard ball-sized, at least we got something.

An unexpected first, shishito peppers.

We enjoyed both broccoli and peppers that very night, wishing we had a lot more.

As for continuing harvests, we took snow and Sugar Snap peas.

The heat spell did not do the peas much good.

We took carrots, turnips (unfortunately the last), and more peas.

And at the end of the week, more carrots and beets. By the way, I misidentified the carrots in the last post as Nelson, when really they are Mokum.

And finally, more lettuce, chard, and peas:

Chard is the only thing we've had to freeze so far this year, but we've accumulated several pounds of peas even though the plants are shutting down, so some might get frozen.

Now a bit about using a harvest. Last fall we only got about a dozen winter squash. The ones we didn't immediately use went into the basement in one of my new home-built screened storage bins. Maybe half rotted over the months (what a mess), but enough lasted so that The Kitchen Goddess could puree them this week. Not bad, considering.

There's an old song, "Turkey In The Straw." Yesterday I revised it like this:

Turkey on the fence,
Makes no sense.

Yes, those are her cute but oh-so-dumb babies trying to figure out how to emulate Mama.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading! I'm looking forward to reading all the posts on Harvest Monday.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Harvest Monday - 4 July 2016

Happy Independence Day from Eight Gate Farm! And belated Happy Canada Day to our friends in The Great White North.

First harvests for some crops this week. We took a few "Nelson" carrots to see how they were shaping up. Not overly large yet, but sweet, crunchy, and delightful.

And the first Sugar Snap peas were taken. They are about 10 days behind the snow peas, and as before, the resulting plants were not all true Sugar Snaps. So the crop will not be large this year, but they are tasty. I've used up the last of this seed lot, and am in the market for a replacement variety.

And the true snow peas are giving us a harvest like this every two days, which we are enjoying in our salads but might have to start freezing soon.

We took the very last of the tatsoi.

And the turnips are winding down, also great thinly sliced in our nightly salads.

The continuing harvests are now demoted to group-photo status.

I love the color of the "Peppermint" chard, and am pleased it does not lose its stem color when steaming.

This soup pea crop is not ready for harvest, because the pods will be dried on the vine and will turn ugly. So I wanted to show it while it is still pretty.

Lastly, lavender to please the other senses besides taste.

That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Dave at Our Happy Acres for hosting Harvest Monday.