Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Garden update

It has been a long time since I've posted to my little electronic garden notebook. Certainly there has been some garden activity in the interim - it's just that the late summer activity is all about harvest and weeding and watering - not exactly noteworthy stuff. Anyway - as garden season starts to wind down, I am going to continue the single veggie posts and start some 2010 planning notes. For today - I'll just play a little catch-up...

Harvest Weight - 412 pounds - We are still harvesting quite a variety. Yesterday we had a salad made with 11 garden veggies (chard, spinach, beet leaves, romaine, carrots, red onions, grape tomatoes, cukes, peas, green beens,brocoli). It was really tasty. The romas have been the bulk of our recent harvests, but their production is dwindling fast. Two weeks ago I harvested 17 pounds of romas, this morning only yielded 6 pounds. I am really proud of our harvest this year. By the time I put the garden scale away for the winter we will likely be near 450 pounds of home grown organic food. That is a lot. For a frame of reference my entire family of 6 weighs in at 445 pounds. So we grew and ate our weight in food this year. That is fantastic. I am sure we ate more veggies this year than we ever have in our lives. Now that I have a baseline harvest weight established, I can't wait to try to beat this target next year.

I have been canning a lot in the evenings. It has been going very well. We have a wide variety in the pantry this winter as opposed to an entire basement of spaghetti sauce last year. More on this process to come in a detailed canning post later.

Leek note: Mary Ann - my Verona garden friend who lives down by the river, gave us a bunch of leeks from her garden a couple weeks ago. They were about 4 inches tall. She told me they will be ready to harvest in spring. I am hoping that I can plant a summer crop of peppers or tomatoes in their place after their harvest. I put them in the former onion plot in the sun garden.

Asparagus note: I am trying for a small fall harvest of asparagus. I read about this strategy in a book once. This weekend (9/13) I cut the ferns on about 1/2 of our asparagus plot. I snipped them off as close to ground level as I could manage. Then I covered this section with fresh compost. The book said that I can expect a fall harvest of asparagus as these plants send shoots back up. With the cool fall weather these shoots are supposed to be super-tasty. Crossing my fingers.

Cooking note: Roasted Beets and Carrots are just about the best darn side dish ever invented. Just toss a bunch of beets and carrots in a big alum foil pack, drizzle them with olive oil and some rosemary and put them in a 400 degree oven. They will take a while to cook. when you take them out you can skin the beets easily and slice the whole pile up. The beets turn the carrots the nicest color and the tastes blend together. It is the bomb. Sarah has been talking about this side dish for days. She wants it to become a Thanksgiving staple.

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