With the exception of cucumbers and sweet peas which started ripening in late June, we’ve been waiting patiently for most of our garden to get to the harvest stage. It looks like harvest is now upon us. In the past week I have harvested:
- 65 lbs of potatoes (about 1/4 our crop)
- 7.5 lbs of beets
- 9 lbs of tomatoes (with many more coming)
We’ve also plucked salad greens, cabbage, swiss chard, beans, carrots, eggplant and late-season strawberries.
Plenty of peppers are ready to harvest too, like this one called Cherry Bomb, because it feels like a bomb went off in your mouth if you try to eat one:
The sweet corn is just about ready too, except we came home from a family vacation to find many of the best stalks shredded and ears of corn eaten. It was raccoons, of course.
It’s the risk I take, not having a fence. I would have been more upset except the anemic growth of our corn this year didn’t produce much. I either planted the corn too close together or the weed pressure was too high (or both). However, in my no-till experiment, the corn stalks are mammoth. Look for a post on that later.
My pumpkins are growing great but watermelon and cantaloupe are struggling. Again, I think the weeds won the day in my melon patch.
Harvest has begun at the Grovestead. The early season crops are prime for picking. Past prime, actually. Our cucumbers were actually too big so we had to cut out the middle before pickling. This is our first year pickling anything, and so far I’d say its going great. Becca has taken the lead, looking up recipes on the Internet and stocking up on supplies. I’m so proud of her willingness to try new things.
We went out to the garden after dinner one night this week and collected 2 gallons of sweet peas in about 20 minutes. This after weeks of eating them fresh off the vine, and there are still plenty more to be picked. Some were pickled, some were shelled and frozen, plenty were kept for fresh eating. Fresh-picked peas are incredibly sweet.
For garden salads we find it easier to just uproot a whole head of lettuce rather than clipping off leaves. If we had been succession planting every two weeks, we’d have fresh lettuce like this all summer. As it stands, we’ve got about 12 or so heads left. The kale was hot pink, red, orange and neon yellow.
The wild blackberries have also started ripening. We have pockets of these throughout our property, and its a labor-intensive task to gather them, but there’s nothing better in the middle of January than wild blackberry jam.
It’s shaping up to be a busy month, with lots more veggies ripening soon. But it’s also a fun one (and tasty).