Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. I guess I'm a simple man, but to me there are few things finer than a crisp fall evening in New England, with the fading light strangely intensifying the colors of the changing leaves, and the scent of wood smoke in the air.
Can there be downsides to fall? Well, yesterday I went out into the woods to change the memory card in the game-cam, and got totally beaned by a terminal-velocity acorn.
And of course, the real downside is the inevitable first frost, which brings me (finally!) to this week's harvests.
On Friday the overnight low was supposed to be 35 F., which is within the tolerance of a potential frost. So we picked all the sizable eggplants, peppers, and zucchini, and any tomatoes that showed any color.
We covered the two Rutgers tomato plants with a tarp (they've been the only productive ones), and let everything else fend for itself. It turned out that we did get a light frost, enough to kill the zucchini, and the eggplants don't look so good either.
We also picked our only winter squash. This is a Jarrahdale pumpkin, weighing about a pound and a half. The blue-green rind belies the intense-orange flesh, or so we hope when we finally cut it open. I got the seeds from a friend, and maybe I'll save some for next year.
The Kitchen Goddess picked quince (quinces?) from the dooryard of the 1750s farmhouse across the road, with permission of course.
When asked, she said she was going to make "quince cheese," which is a thing, in case you didn't know. I sure didn't.
I always grow some coleus from seed, and every year TKG is dismayed about how tiny the seedlings are. And every year they grow huge and lovely. Ha! Here's a last picture before a hard frost takes them down.
That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, and my apologies to those who commented on last week's post and I didn't respond. I had to go to San Diego for work, and didn't get back until Thursday night. Thanks as always to Dave at Our Happy Acres for hosting Harvest Monday. Please join me in viewing all the interesting posts from gardeners everywhere.
Looks like a good year for foliage. My wife was at Parker's Maple Barn in Mason last week and said it was spectacular, so we're going do go north or west on Tuesday to do some peeping. We had a similar cold couple of evenings last week so the warm weather plants are dead. Good move to harvest stuff before.ReplyDelete
We know Parker's very well. We haven't been there in years, as we got tired of waiting 2 hours for a table, but it is something special.Delete
Your description of a crisp fall evening in New England sounds just wonderful. For me, a favorite fall experience is the first real rain. We don't get rain for months through summer and into fall, so that first real rain in the fall (yesterday!) is so wonderful, everything looks and smells so fresh and clean, a literal breath of fresh air. Things seem to start to come alive again, almost instantly, after hunkering down through the long dry dusty (smoky) summer.ReplyDelete
Quince cheese. Is that something like Membrillo, the Spanish quince paste?
TKG says Membrillo is the same thing. The leftover is used for quince jelly. When I lived in California I always loved and looked forward to the rain. Here, of course, it's nothing special, except maybe for this summer!Delete
Ahh, the quinces bring back memories. My parents had a big bush that was right outside out front door. Back then we never knew they were good for anything, other than us kids throwing them at each other! It looks like you got a good late season harvest from the eggplants. And the coleus are amazing too. All that foliage from a seed that looks like dust.ReplyDelete
I'm sure the quince bushes have seen generations of kids doing that.Delete
I'm with you, the air in the fall is so fresh and clean...fall is one of my favourite times of the year.ReplyDelete
Ah yes, the first frost....and the scramble to harvest whatever you can. You were able to harvest quite a few goodies on your final pass through. All the makings for a really nice end of summer dinner!
Oh, I just LOVE the coleus! I've never given coleus much though, but I saw so many incredible varieties at the Fling this year and just fell in love with it. It's definitely on my grow list for next year.
Coleus is very easy to grow, despite the microscopic seeds. I just buy a mix, and hope for the best!Delete
Great job getting so much before the frost, I had a similar time last Monday. And what a good haul of eggplants! A drive to one of our National Parks might be a beautiful sight if I can fit one in soon.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Susie. A National Park is definitely in order.Delete
Your autumn looks beautiful! Someday I would love to visit the Northeast in the autumn. I love the fall weather, although saying farewell to all the summer veggies is usually bitter sweet. By the time frost arrives, I'm often relieved and ready for a gardening break, but maybe that's because we have a longer growing season down south. It looks like you got a lot of veggies out of the garden. I'm impressed that you still have zucchini!ReplyDelete
You're right about bittersweet. Even up here it's somewhat of a relief when the garden shuts down. The fall foliage is usually pretty spectacular around here, and this year is especially good. We never tire of it.Delete
Gorgeous colors, not much color here in the Hudson Valley yet, but the colors are coming.ReplyDelete
Nice harvest, always a scramble when the first frost is predicted. Part of my sweet potatoes leaves got frost damage but the tubers are OK I am sure.