October Veggie Garden Update

 

Here’s the latest update in my garden as of Sunday October 18th. The season is winding down fast now, and so am I. The pics above are what we harvested today.

Some warm season crops like cucumbers, summer squash, green beans, dry beans, butternut winter squash and corn are finished. Today’s harvest of the warm season crops like tomatoes and peppers were picked, including some green tomatoes which I will ripen indoors. I got a couple of butternut squash and cucumbers too. I turned off the drip systems to all of them today.

The perennial fruit crops-strawberries, grapes, rhubarb and blackberries are also done. But the raspberries, which are a fall crop are still giving up some berries but are slowing way down now too. I will leave the drip systems on the perennials till it freezes.

Other cool season crops in the garden are still shining, loving the cooler weather we have right now. These include cabbage, chard, another winter squash (sweetmeat) and kale are still in the main garden and ready to harvest. I’ve been harvesting the kale, cabbage and chard for a long time.

I am harvesting broccoli heads, warm season lettuces and radishes that I planted as succession crops in August in my garlic bed which has been vacant since July. I figured I would have enough time to harvest them before I plant a new garlic crop back in it. The garlic heads are coming this week and I will plant them by the end of October in that bed once the other veggies are harvested.

But the season doesn’t end yet. I currently have some cool season crops that I started inside under lights like lettuces, spinach, arugula and Pak Choi. They will go into my cold frame and greenhouse this week but not in the main garden. I’ve actually been waiting till both the greenhouse and cold frame are cool enough in the day to put them in so they don’t bolt and this week with the daytime temperatures in the 70’s and the nighttime temperatures in the 40s is now perfect to put them out. They should last till December using row cover when the temperatures drop to freezing at night to extend their lives. It will be nice to get greens and lettuce from the garden in November. My last hurrah!

 

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!