Still no killing frost here. Temp was forecast to go down to 22 degrees last night, but it was only 31.9 when we went to bed so we knew it wasn't going to dip as low as predicted. When we got up this morning . . . ha! We had 36 degrees. An early morning tritz out to the garden did reveal patches of frost here and there on the grass, but it wasn't enough to zap my zinnias which are usually susceptible to a frost. Gosh, here it is October 7th and we still haven't had a killing frost. This is strange for us up here near the tundra!
We sorted through all the apples we harvested a couple of days ago. This year's crop is not much to write home about.
I'll have enough to make a couple of batches of applesauce, and we have two varieties that are good eating apples. I'll earmark some of the more tart ones for apple pies and that will about take care of them. I think last year we harvested twice as many as we did this year. But we had an exceptionally good year last year so I think perhaps the trees just needed a rest this season.
While eating breakfast this morning, we noticed the &$#!!^ Blue Jays had discovered our corn still in the garden, so we decided we'd better get out there and harvest it while there was still some left!
My little patch of corn this year was an experiment. Like tomatoes, we have trouble growing corn up here. But hubby had heard of a variety, Painted Mountain, that was developed in the mountains of Montana for its hardiness and earliness (85 days). The multi-color ears can be used for roasting, animal feed or decorating. It is also tauted as being easily ground into a high-nutrition flour.
It's non-GMO, heirloom and open-pollinated so you can propagate it from year to year. The high protein content (13% or higher) is a definite plus. The corn is described as a corn that grows where no other corn can grow so we decided to give it a try.
I planted our little block of Painted Mountain corn on June 10th so theoretically it should have been ready for harvest on or about September 4th, but on that date our stalks had not dried out at all, they were still green and the corn hadn't matured so we let it go.
The stalks are now definitely dried and with the Blue Jays helping themselves to it, we were more or less forced to harvest it this morning.
I purchased my seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds and the packet said the ears grow to 6-7" long. Ours all measure somewhere between 8-12" in length. Not exceptionally thick, but long! Above is a random sampling of our harvest. The colors are amazing.
Husking each ear was like opening a present. You never knew what a kaleidoscope of colors you were going to come upon!
The only disappointment was that in the hustle-bustle of this summer's busy-ness, we missed the prime time to harvest a few ears for roasting. I'm going to put in a much bigger patch of this corn next year so we'll be sure to pick some ears to taste test then.
Well, I just checked a couple of different sites as to how cold we can expect it to get tonight. The forecasts vary from 32 degrees to 42 degrees. Quite a difference if you're a vulnerable plant outside that could survive 42 degrees but would be struck deader than a door knob at 32. It's that time of year when we tend to keep a close eye on the thermometer, but we never know what will really happen . . . until it happens!
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