Winter is here early

Fall harvest-tomatoes, Tahiti Butternut squash, Bradford watermelons and Craupadine beets

I just heard last night’s snow was the earliest on record for Oct 14th in Santa Fe. The weather apps have said it was going to be 27°F last night. Woke up this morning to a light snow, ice and the temperature was 24°F here. Harvesting has been intense the last few weeks. Why is there always so much to pick in the end? The only annual crops left are a few kale, beets and cabbages outside in the main garden and greens in the greenhouse and cold frame. I’m not sure how they fared as I wasn’t able to go out and check today, and in truth, with 34°F for a high, I was in no hurry to see if they made it. They were covered with winter weight row cover with the hopes they make it and I will check tomorrow. I was more concerned the barn animals were ok with this first cold snap and made sure all the heaters in the water tanks were working and the chickens had their heat lamps on. I guess winter is here.

Final Harvest 2013

final harvest 2013

Now that the harvest season is over, I have so much to catch up on with you all from this season. Seems when I am in the middle of the gardening season, I’m just too tired to write about all the things I want to share as I’m either in the glass shop or out in the garden during the day and come in at the end of the day ‘dirt tired’ as I say. So now I can catch up on maybe a particular vegetable I wanted to try, or how much honey I was able to harvest this year or a particular dish I cooked and enjoyed or something else I observed. I did take pictures all along waiting till I had the time to share.

Here is a photo of the last harvest of the season on Oct 21, 2013. I picked the Tarabais beans after they dried in the shell. They are in the baskets (on the left) waiting to be shelled, 3 heirloom Banana squash (on the right) which I left out in the first few frosty nights as they get sweeter if left out in the cold (but do bring them in when we get really cold), French Fingerling potatoes were dug out and put in the black box to cure and the very last of the tomatoes that I finished ripening inside that later became sauce and in the white bucket behind all of that was the honey we harvested just before putting the bees ‘to bed for the winter’. You always leave enough honey for the bees before harvesting any for yourself and some years you don’t get to harvest any. Here it is waiting to be put into jars after being strained in the white bucket. More on these individually later.

Roo Apron

Roo apron

Got this nifty gift for Christmas-a ‘Roo Apron‘. It fits all and has a large kangaroo pocket where you put your harvest instead of putting it in a basket you lug around. Then you can easily empty it in whatever you want. Also has some handy pockets to hold your cutting tools. I see using it for harvesting my apples when I’m up on a ladder. I can see using it for potatoes, eggplants, peppers, corn and just about anything that won’t crack in the big pocket. When full the bottom opens up to release your produce. Can’t wait to use it next year. So many times I go into the garden and just take a few things and then before you know it my hands are full. Not anymore!

This was purchased at Peaceful Garden Grow Organic website:

http://www.groworganic.com/catalogsearch/result/?order=relevance&dir=desc&q=the+Roo+apron&x=0&y=0

Catch Up in the Veggie Garden

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in almost a month! Not like me! But I have an excuse-I’ve been headless with the final harvesting of giant pumpkins, tomatoes, harvesting the rest of the veggie garden, being ‘The Tomato Lady’ selling tomatoes at the Santa Fe Farmers Market AND planting the fall garden. What’s that you say? Planting a fall garden? Am I not burned out yet of the season? Well almost, but I know I will crave something green in Dec-Jan so I sucked it up and planted some greens in my cold frame. They are already looking so pretty and green. So now that it has gotten cold at night and the garden has been put to sleep (I disconnected the drip systems), I will catch you up on what’s been happening in the garden in the next few posts and what to do with all that produce!