Monday, May 31, 2021

Harvest Monday - 31 May 2021

 Memorial Day in the US is always the 4th Monday of May. As such, it can fall up to a week earlier or later from a date perspective. Nevertheless, here in the northern part of the country, the weekend is used as an unofficial start of the outdoor season, for camping, boating, or just barbecues and gatherings. Many gardeners also use it as a reference for planting their warmer-weather crops. But since we had such warm weather earlier, a lot of people went ahead and planted well before the weekend, myself included.

Boy, I regret it now. On Friday a cold front settled, bringing rain and very cold temperatures. Saturday only reached 47 F. (8.3 C.). We even had to light the wood stove to warm the house and cheer us up. I am very worried for all the solanacea I transplanted, and the beans and sweet corn I sowed. I had looked ahead and didn’t see this coming. I’m sure they got a shock, but will they recover? Time will tell.

In between the raindrops we went out to the garden to do some picking. We got a “first harvest” of the green-stemmed bok choy “Brisk Green.” This is a favorite of mine.

Brisk Green bok choy

We also got a first harvest of Cherry Belle radishes.

Cherry Belle

For continuing harvests, we took several more white-stemmed bok choy called “Asian Delight.”

Asian Delight

And more French Breakfast-type radishes.

'French Dressing' radishes

The Kitchen Goddess made me a wonderful egg drop soup using some of the Asian greens, with her rich chicken stock. I was very happy!  

It’s surprising to me that we still have some winter squash in storage. We don’t have the traditional New England cellar, which gets quite cool in winter. Ours stays a pretty consistent 55 degrees F. (~12.8 C.). The screened storage boxes I built a few years ago have done their job protecting the squash from mouse predation. Here are some I brought up for use this week: a “Sugaretti” hybrid spaghetti squash and three butternuts.

Winter Squash from storage

That’s all for this week. The weather looks like it will improve substantially in the coming days, and I hope things get back to growing. Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Dave at for keeping Harvest Monday going.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Harvest Monday - 24 May 2021

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. The weather has been unusually warm for this time of year, allowing me to get a jump on planting. By yesterday, the gardens were fully planted, including all the solanacea and cucurbits. Of course, the temperature dropped rapidly in the afternoon, getting to an overnight low of 49 F. (9.4 C.) at the time I'm writing this, on Harvest Monday. I hope I didn't shock the peppers.

We had some "first harvests" this weekend. This is a petite bok choy called "Asian Delight," and it's a former AAS winner. I noticed that even when the plants were very small they were experiencing flea beetle damage, so I laid Remay over the plot, but not making a tunnel or anything. They still grew well despite having a jacket on. These went into a stir fry that night.

Asian Delight bok choy

Also we sampled our radishes for the first time. They are called "French Dressing," which might be a branding attempt by Burpee, because they look like regular old French Breakfast. These too have a cover to protect from root maggots.

French Dressing

For continuing harvests, our asparagus has been keeping us well-supplied, with cuttings like this every few days. However, I'm thinking it may be time to let the spears grow for the rest of the season.

That's all for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks as always to our clever host, Dave, at, for hosting Harvest Monday.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Harvest Monday - 10 May 2021

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. Our only harvests this time of year are asparagus, with weekly cuttings that look like this. Just enough for the two of us.

But things are moving along planting-wise. Still way too cold for tomatoes, etc., but the brassicas are planted, and other seeds sown. The radishes, lettuce. and peas are up already, waiting for some warmth to take off. Carrots, beets, and chard were sown this week.

This is the “Field Garden.” When we moved here, it was a roughly oval patch of large gravel and weeds where an above-ground swimming pool had been. At least the site had water and power! I had a big load of loam brought in 2014 and turned it into a crop field. A few years ago I stupidly spiked the pH by spreading too much wood ash as well as using the site to burn brush in the off-season. No more of that. I’m hoping that it will return to normal pH soon.

In the foreground you can see where I planted a row of potatoes this past week. Beyond that is a row of garlic, doing well, mostly. The middle part is Russian Red, and it is not doing as well as the flanking plants of Georgian Crystal and German Extra Hardy. I got the seed bulbs from Fedco last year, as for obvious reasons there was no Vermont Garlic Festival to attend and buy direct from the growers. The Russian Red bulbs had a lot of white mold on them and I had to throw away quite a few cloves. I guess what I kept wasn’t that healthy either. No knock on Fedco; they promptly refunded me for the bad ones. These things happen.

Beyond the garlic will be a row of short bushy sunflowers, and a row of Mammoth Russian. I love tall sunflowers, and I am hoping to win first prize at the Deerfield Fair for the tallest sunflower! A man can dream at least.

Also going in this plot will be a 4’x8’ patch of Painted Mountain flour corn, several rows of yellow-eye beans, and some field pumpkins. I’m hoping for a good year of rain to ease the watering chore.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for reading, and thanks again to Dave at for continuing to host Harvest Monday.