Monday, September 5, 2016

Harvest Monday - 5 September 2016

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm! And Happy Labor/Labour Day to all North American gardeners, who undoubtedly will be laboring/labouring in their gardens today.

This weekend we went to the Vermont Garlic Festival, staying overnight this time. It was a ton of fun. I will probably be writing a post about it this week. When we got home on Sunday morning, it was time to get dirty. Very dirty, as the following shows.

Kennebec potatoes
The tally was 36 pounds (~16 kg.). This was much better than last year's 29, but still not as good as the year before (42).

There were other first harvests this past week. We got our first "Amish Paste" tomato:

Amish Paste

As I've said before, while others are getting bushels now, our plants are only producing ones and twos. Blame me for siting them poorly.

As I also said in a previous mid-week post, our Chinese cabbage was damaged by a rogue woodchuck. Damaged, but not destroyed, as it turns out. The plants recovered amazingly, and here's the result:

'Soloist' Chinese cabbage
The one on the right was over 2 pounds, the others are slightly under 2. Of course, I started 3 more plants when these were damaged, so there may yet be more cabbage.

Continuing harvests this week included a nice basket of solanacea. I had spotted another groundhog in the field where these were growing, so some of the tomatoes were taken a little under-ripe to protect them.

However, the groundhog (woodchuck, or whistle-pig if you prefer) suddenly passed away for some reason. So we are safe once again.

We're still getting lots of wax beans, Diva cucumbers, zucchini, and a few raspberries at a time. Here you see the Chief Produce Inspector making sure the corn was ripe.

We had another bountiful picking of chard, in the basket on the left:

The basket on the right included a generous, and final, picking of summer crisp lettuce. Here is is all laid out. These had also been damaged by the groundhog, but also recovered.

We are bidding a slow, sad goodbye to the Honey Select corn. We had several meals of 2 ears apiece, which is a luxury.

Honey Select corn
 The Kitchen Goddess and I were talking about which crop we most look forward to. For her, it's the artichokes (also now finished). For me, sweet corn is the thing I crave most. What is your favorite?

Next year I want to plant an early, a mid-season, and a late corn so I can indulge myself all summer long, without having to go to the farm stand, as we will probably do this year.

The other day I went out to the garden after TKG had spent some time there. I was startled to see balloons flapping over the grape vines:

Turns out she put them up to scare off birds from the nearly-ripe grapes. Or so she says. I think she secretly had a little birthday party for them.

So this week kicks off the Week of the Grape. Having bought a refractometer, she has judged the "brix level" and "acid balance" are just about right. Science is hard! I just taste them, and they are delicious. But she's the boss. Anyway, we will pick, crush, and press them very soon. Another vintage in the making.

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading! Make sure to check out all posts on Harvest Monday, hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.


  1. What a team you two are. Great harvest, a true labor of love.

  2. What a team you two are. Great harvest, a true labor of love.

  3. "Some reason" huh ...

    A beautiful bounty this week for you (and a pretty basket to keep it in). What is my favourite crop? I always look forward to the first potato, boiled with a bit of butter.

    1. The noble potato is a great choice, especially prepared the way you like.

  4. Those Soloist cabbages look good, quite a recovery from the woodchuck damage. I agree the corn would be my choice, while my wife, not a corn lover, would pick the artichokes.

  5. That was an amazing recovery for those cabbages! I think asparagus is one crop I really look forward to, as it signals the start of the harvest season for us. And I really like asparagus!

    As for the groundhog, while I am a wildlife lover in general I have to say the groundhog/woodchuck is near the bottom of my list, along with mosquitoes and rats.

    1. I might have known yours was asparagus, seeing how you grow so much of it, and beautifully too.

  6. Wow - you have had some great harvests and all that variety...well done!

    Your Soloist cabbage has done much better than mine - every single one of them bolted. And those potatoes look awesome - I'm both excited and scared to harvest mine as there were some vole holes in that bed earlier on in the season, so who knows what's underneath all that soil and straw. I let mine sit in the ground for a few weeks to toughen them up so they store better, so I'll not know what the story is until later on this month. And my favourite?? Oh, now that's MUCH too difficult a question for me :)

  7. "suddenly passed away for some reason" ha ha ha. I sure wish the rabbit that is denuding my pepper plants would "pass away"...

    Tomatoes, definitely tomatoes. There is nothing like a homegrown tomato.

  8. Getting ready to make your own wine, that sounds fabulous. Your corn looks fantastic with their nice big ears and those cabbages are monsters. Tomatoes are at the top of my list of favorites along with angled loofa.