Garden Harvest Early October

oct 8 harvest

I love this time of year. It’s like the garden’s gone wild, everything ready for harvest all at once and a sense of urgency is felt by me and the vegetables to get it done. Get it picked, get it harvested and get it preserved. It is a crazy intense time as fall is here for real and soon we will have the first 32°F night (historically the middle of October). Right now nights are in the mid 40’s but that will change soon. The mornings require a sweatshirt in the garden now.

The sunflowers have come and gone, my cucumbers are done. I spent hours picking and pickling them as I love pickles. The zucchini are gone too. The green and purple beans are mostly finished. The shishitos and poblano peppers and eggplants are done as of this week. The 25 lbs of pears and 30 lbs of apples Michelle gave me are already dried into chips. The corn tassels are drying and soon I will see if my experiment of planting all pink kernels of Glass Gem corn will turn out pink ears or still be multi-colored. Either way is fine. The tomatoes are definitely fading, preferring much warmer nights and their size and harvest is getting smaller. I’m making tomato soup, tomato tapenade and tomato sauce like crazy-so far 18 gallon freezer bags of raw sauce in each that I will later make pasta sauces with (once the garden is done). Today was my last day at the Farmer’s Market as the Tomato Lady for this year as I will not get enough tomatoes again.

But the potatoes still need digging, the herbs need trimming and drying, Jimmy Nardello peppers are still kicking and need picking, the beets and carrots I planted in early spring are ready for harvest and the chard and different kales I planted in late July are loving the cooler weather now and will endure until we have really cold weather. Crazy busy around 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.