Sunday, November 12, 2023

Season Finale - 12 November 2023

Hello again from Eight Gate Farm. Yesterday I did the final harvest from our gardens, just in time for a hard freeze overnight. A couple of "first harvests" were obtained, as well as finishing out the few remaining crops we've picked before.

Leeks were a first harvest. They did quite well this year, to the point where I decided to experiment a little and overwinter (by hilling and mulching) the smaller ones, hoping for a harvest in early spring. This variety, Comanche, is new to me and I'm pleased with it.

Comanche F1 leeks

Summer-planted Chinese cabbage was the second first harvest. It did not do as well as in past years. Here's what I got, already wrapped up for the fridge.

Minuet F1 Chinese cabbage

For continuing/final harvests, I pulled most of the remaining carrots. I'm leaving a few to hopefully overwinter, another experiment. It's the first time I've grown this variety, the hybrid Newhall, and I like the results.

Newhall F1 carrots

I got generous pickings of colorful Swiss chard and Italian parsley.

Chard and parsley

And finally the very last of the chard, a minuscule amount of late-summer-planted spinach, and a good amount of kale. We now have enough greens in the freezer to see us through the winter.

Chard, spinach, kale

We made the last batch of simple (unfermented) hot sauce. This is the blend I call "Hot Mess," as it used all the green, red, yellow, and orange hot peppers we had in the fridge, plus the remaining garlic scapes. That brings our total (all varieties) to 58 bottles this season, all destined to be holiday gifts.

"Hot Mess" sauce

So I get a little sad this time of year, but at the same time, I'm grateful for the break from all the toil. All in all, it was a pretty good year. Not a record-breaker compared to last year, but still quite acceptable. The biggest disappointment was tomatoes, but even then it's okay, because we had all we needed for fresh eating, and if the canning amount was lacking, it gives us a chance to work through last year's over-supply of tomato products.

Thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog posts. I'll pick this back up next year. Happy holidays!

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